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ESSAYS 

ON 

SOCIAL REFORM 



Crown &vo, price 5s. 

AN INQUIRY INTO SOCIALISM. 

By THOMAS KIBKUP, 

Author of the Article on 'Socialism' in the 'Encyclopaedia Britannica.* 



*A very thoughtful and sympathetic study of the modern socialistic 
movement, with the history of which the author has a very thorough 
acquaintance.' — Contbmporaby Review. 

' We have no hesitation in describing this as the clearest statement we 
have read of the aims and methods of Socialism.' — Westminster Review. 

London : LONGMANS, GBEEN, & CO. 



PRACTICABLE SOCIALISM 



ESSAYS ON SOCIAL REFORM 



BY THE 



EEV. and MRS. SAMUEL A. BARNETT 



LONDON 
LONGMANS, GREEN, AND CO. 

AND NEW YORK : 15 EAST 16* STREET 

1888 

a 

All rights reserved 



PRINTED BT 
8POTTISW00DE AND CO., NEW-STREET 8QUABB 

LONDON 




h - > °rt 



INTRODUCTION. 



-*o+- 



The following Essays have been written at different 
intervals during our fifteen years' residence in East 
London. They were written out of the fulness of the 
moment with a view of giving a voice to some need of 
which we had become conscious. They do not, there- 
fore, pretend to set forth any system for dealing with 
the social problem ; they are simply the voice of the dumb 
poor, of whose mind it has been our privilege to get 
some understanding. They are published now in response 
to the requests of many to whom they have been 
some guide in the ways of service, and in the hope 
that the experience they offer may bring rich and poor 
together. It will be noticed that two or three great 
principles underlie all the reforms for which we ask. 
The equal capacity of all to enjoy the best, the superiority 
of quiet ways over those of striving and crying, character 
as the one thing needful are the truths with which we 
have become familiar, and on these truths we take our 
stand. Although the Essays do not pretend to form a 
connected whole, it will be seen that their arrangement 



VI INTRODUCTION 

is subject to some order. Those placed first set forth 
the poverty of the poor. Those which follow suggest 
some means by which such poverty may be met (1) 
by individual and (2) by united action, with some of the 
dangers to which charitable effort seems to be liable. 
As we look back over the experience which these Essays 
recall, we are conscious of shortcomings and failure, but 
they are due to our own want of wisdom and of faith, 
and we still believe that God's will may be done on earth 
as it is in heaven, and that the doing of His will means 
at last health and wealth. Each Essay is signed by 
the writer, but in either case they represent our common 
thought, as all that has been done represents our 
common work. 

Samuel A. Barnett and Henrietta 0. Barnett. 
St. Jude's, Whiteohapel : May 1888. 



CONTENTS. 



PAGE 

I. The Poverty of the Poor. By Mrs. S. A. Barnett 

(July 1886) 3 

II. Belief Funds and the Poor. By Bev. S. A. 

Barnett (Nov. 1886) 22 

III. Passionless Reformers. By Mrs. S. A. Barnett 

(August 1882) 48 

IV. Town Councils and Social Reform. By Rev. S. A. 

Barnett (Nov. 1883) 62 

V. * At Home ' to the Poor. By Mrs. S. A. Barnett 

(May 1881) 76 

VI. University Settlements. By Rev. S. A. Barnett 

(Feb. 1884) 96 

VII. Pictures for the People. By Mrs. S. A. Barnett 

(March 1883) 109 

VIII. The Young Women in our Workhouses. By Mrs. 

S. A. Barnett (Aug. 1879) 126 

IX. A People's Church. By Rev. S. A. Barnett (Nov. 

1884) 142 



Vlii CONTENTS 

PAGE 

X. Charitable Effort. By Mrs. S. A. Barnett (Feb. 

1884) 157 

XI. Sensationalism in Social Reform. By Rev. S. A. 

Barnett (Feb. 1886) 173 

XII. Practicable Socialism. By Rev. S. A. Barnett 

(April 1883) 191 

XIII. The Work of Righteousness. By Rev. S. A. 

Barnett (Nov. 1887) . . . . . . . 204 



PEACTICABLE SOCIALISM. 



i. 

THE POVERTY OF THE POOR. 1 

It is useless to imagine that the nation is wealthier 
because in one column of the newspaper we read an 
account of a sumptuous ball or of the luxury of a City 
dinner if in another column there is the story of * death 
from starvation.' It is folly, and worse than folly, to 
say that our nation is religious because we meet her 
thousands streaming out of the fashionable churches, so 
long as workhouse schools and institutions are the only 
homes open to her orphan children and homeless waifs. 
The nation does not consist of one class only ; the nation 
is the whole, the wealthy and the wise, the poor and 
the ignorant. Statistics, however flattering, do not tell 
the whole truth about increased national prosperity, or 
about progress in development, if there is a pauper class 
constantly increasing, or a criminal class gaining its 
recruits from the victims of poverty. 

The nation, like the individual, is set in the midst of 

1 Beprinted, by permission, from the National Beview of July 1886. 

B 



2 PRACTICABLE SOCIALISM 

many arid great dangers, and, after the need of educa- 
tion and religion has been allowed, it will be agreed that 
all other defences are vain if it be impossible for the 
men and women and children of our vast city population 
to reach the normal standard of robustness. 

The question then arises, Why cannot and does 
not each man, woman, and child attain to the normal 
standard of robustnesss ? The answers to this question 
would depend as much on the answerer as they do in the 
game of 'Old Soldier.' The teetotallers would reply that 
drink was the cause, but against this sweeping assertion 
I should like to give my testimony, and it has been my 
privilege to live in close friendship and neighbourhood of 
the working. classes for nearly half my life. Much has 
been said about the drinking habits of the poor, and 
the rich have too often sheltered themselves from 
the recognition of the duties which their wealth has 
imposed on them by the declaration that the poor are 
unhelpable while they drink as they do. But the working 
classes, as a rule, do not drink. There are, undoubtedly, 
thousands of men, and, alas ! unhappy women too, who 
seek the pleasure, or the oblivion, to be obtained by alco- 
hol; but drunkenness is not the rule among the working 
classes, and, while honouring the work of the teetotallers, 
who give themselves up to the reclamation of the drunken, 
I cannot agree with them in their answer to the question. 
Drink is not the main cause why the national defence to 
be found in robust health is in such a defective con- 
dition. 

Land reformers, socialists, co-operators, democrats 
would, in their turn, each provide an answer to our 
question ; but, if examined, the root of each would b 



THE POVERTY OF THE POOR 3 

the same — in one word, it is Poverty, and this means 
scarcity of food. 

Let us now go into the kitchen and try and provide, 
with such knowledge as dietetic science has given us, for 
a healthily hungry family of eight children and father 
and mother, We must calculate that the man requires 
20 oz. of solid food per day, i.e. 16 oz. of carbonaceous 
or strength-giving food and 4 oz. of nitrogenous or flesh- 
forming food. (The army regulations allow 25 oz. a day, 
and our soldiers are recently declared on high authority to 
be underfed.) The woman should eat 12 oz. of carbon- 
aceous and 3 oz. of nitrogenous food ; though if she is doing 
much rough, hard work, such as all the cooking, cleaning, 
washing of a family of eight children necessitate, she 
would probably need another ounce per day of the flesh- 
repairing foods. For the children, whose ages may vary 
from four to thirteen, it would be as well to estimate 
that they would each require 8 oz. of carbonaceous and 
2 oz. of nitrogenous food per day : in all, 92 of carbon- 
aceous and 23 oz. of nitrogenous foods per day. 1 

For the breakfast of the family we will provide oat- 
meal porridge with a pennyworth of treacle and another 
pennyworth of tinned milk. For dinner they can have 
Irish stew, with 1£ lb. of meat among the ten, a penny- 
worth of rice, and an addition of twopennyworth of 
bread to obtain the necessary quantity of strength-giving 
nutriment. For tea we can manage coffee and bread, 

1 To those who have had experience of children's appetites it may 
seem as if their daily food had been under-estimated. A growing lad of 
eleven or twelve will often eat more than his mother, but the eight 
children, being of various ages, wiU probably eat together about this 
quantity, and it is better, perhaps, to under- than over-state their re- 
quirements. 

b 2 



PRACTICABLE SOCIALISM 



but with no butter and not even sugar for the children ; 
and yet, simple fare as this is, it will have cost 2s. 5d. 
to feed the whole family and to obtain for them a 
sufficient quantity of strength-giving food, and even at 
this expenditure they have not been able to get that 
amount of nitrogenous food which is necessary for the 
maintenance of robust health. 

A little table of exact cost and quantities might not 
be uninteresting : — 



Quantity of Food 


Cost 


Carbonaceous 


Nitrogenous 


Breakfast — Oatmeal 








Porridge. 


s. d. 


OZ. 


OZ. 


11 lb. Oatmeal . 
1* pint Tinned Milk 
£ lb. Treacle . 




14 


3 


n 


1 


7 


— 


Dinner — Irish Stew. 








1£ lb. Meat 


8 


34 




4 lb. Potatoes . 


H 


14 


2 


1J lb. Onions . 


i 


«1 


ii 


A few Carrots . 


l 


i 

4 




1 lb. Bice .... 


l 


7 


4 


1£ lb. Bread . 


n 


13| 


Tea — Bread and Coffee. 








2^ lb. Bread . 
2i oz. Coffee . 
lj pint Tinned Milk 

Total 


3 f 

x 2 


22£ 


3J 


i 

4 


4 


n 


1 


2 6 


92 


m 



But note that the requisite quantities for the whole 
family are 92 oz. of carbonaceous and 28 oz. of nitrogenous 
substances. 

Another day we might provide them with cocoa and 
bread for breakfast ; lentil soup and toasted cheese for 
dinner ; and rice pudding and bread for tea ; but this 



THE POVEETY OF THE POOR 5 

fare presupposes a certain knowledge of cooking, which 
but few of the poor possess, as well as an acquaintance 
with the dietetic properties of food, which, at present, is 
far removed from even the most intelligent. This day's 
fare compares favourably with yesterday's meals in the 
matter of cost, being %\d. cheaper, but it does not pro- 
vide enough carbonaceous food, though it does not fall 
far short of the necessary 23 oz. of nitrogenous substances. 



Quantity of Food 


Cost 


Carbonaceous 


Nitrogenous 


Bbeakeast— Bbead and 
Cocoa. 

2i lb. Bread . 
l| oz. Cocoa . 

1 pint Tinned Milk . 

2 oz. Sugar . 


s. d. 

03 

it 

1 

1 

3 


OZ. 

22i 

3 
4 

1* 


OZ. 

H 

i 

1 

a 


Dinner — Lentil Soup, 
Toasted Cheese. 








Ii lb. Lentils . 
lib. Cheese 
1 J lb. Bread 


3 

8 


15 
13| 


6 
2i 


Tea — Rice Pudding and 
Bbead. 








| lb. Rice .... 
1± pint Tinned Milk 
2 oz. Sugar 
1\ lb. Bread 

Total 


4 

2* 


It 

13| 


a. 
2* 


2 n 


86J 


22J 



And how drear and uninteresting is this food com- 
pared to that on which people of another class normally 
live ! No refreshing cups of afternoon tea ; no pleasant 
fruit to give interest to the meal. Nothing but dull, 
keep-me-alive sort of food, and not enough of that to 
fulfil all Nature's requirements. 



PRACTICABLE SOCIALISM 



But let us take another day's meals, which can 
consist of hominy, milk, and sugar for breakfast ; potato 
soup and apple-and-sago pudding for dinner ; and fish 
and bread for tea ; when fish is plentiful enough to be 
obtained at 3d. a pound, and when apples are to be got 
at l\d. a pound., which economical housekeepers know is 
not often the case in London. 



Quantity of Food 


Cost 


Carbonaceous 


Nitrogenous 


Beakfast — Hominy, Milk, 








SUGAE. 


s. d. 


oz 


OZ. 


1\ lb. Hominy . 

3J pints Tinned Milk 


3 
4 


'2* 

*2 


H 


3* 


n 


6 oz. Sugar 


1 


*i 




Dinner — Potato Soup anj 


> 






Apple-and-Sago Pudding. 








5 lbs. Potatoes . 


H 


m 


21 


1± pint Tinned Milk . 


: i 

■ 4 


4b 

1 


3 oz. Bice . 


2 * 


4- 


3 oz. Dripping . 






2\ lb. Apples . 


3 I 


5 


4 


6 oz. Sago 


4 


H 


6 oz. Sugar 


1 


4 




Tea— Fish and Bread. 








2J lb. Fish 


7^ 

• • 2 


1J 


7i 

• 3 


2 lb. Bread 


3 


18 


3 


1\ pint Tinned Milk . 


2 


9i 


1 


3 oz. Sugar 
Total 


2 


— — 


2 5 


86 


23± 



Again, however, we have spent 2s. 5d. on food, and 
even now have not got quite sufficient strength-giving or 
carbonaceous food. 

An average of 2s. 4d. spent daily on food makes a 
total of 16s. Ad. at the week's end, leaving the labourer 
earning his 11. a week 3s. 8d. with which to pay rent 



THE POVERTY OF THE POOR 7 

(and decent accommodation of two rooms in London can- 
not be had for less than 5s. 6d. or 6s. a week) ; to obtain 
schooling and lighting ; to buy coals, clothes, and boots ; 
to bear the expense of breakages and necessary replace- 
ments ; to subscribe to a club against sickness or death ; 
and to meet the doctor's bills for the children's illnesses 
or the wife's confinements. How is it possible ? Can 
3s. 8d. do so much ? No, it cannot ; and so food is 
stinted. The children have to put up with less than 
they need ; the mother ' goes without sooner than let 
the children suffer,' and thus the new baby is born 
weakly and but half-nourished; the children develop 
greediness in their never-satisfied and but partly fed 
frames ; and the father, too often insufficiently sustained, 
seeks alcohol, which, anyhow, seems to 'pick him up and 
hold him together,' though his teetotal mates assure him 
it is only a delusion. 

And this is no fancy picture. I have now in my mind 
one Wilkins, a steady, rough, honest, sober labourer, 
fairly intelligent, and the father of thirteen children. 
The two eldest, girls of fourteen and fifteen, are already 
out at service ; but the eleven younger, being under age, 
are still kept at school and supported by their father. 
He earns 11. regularly. They rent the whole house at 
12s. a week, and, letting off part, stand themselves at a 
weekly rent of 5s. for three small rooms. Less than that, 
as the mother says, * I could not nohow do with, what 
with all the washing for such a heavy family, and bathing 
the little ones, and him coming home tired of an evening, 
and needing a place to sit down in.' The wife is a decent 
body, but rougli and uncultured ; and as she is ignorant 
of the proper proportions of nitrogenous and carbon- 



8 PRACTICABLE SOCIALISM 

aceous substance necessary for the preservation of healthy 
life, as well as of the kinds of food in which they can be 
best found, she feeds her family even less nutritiously 
than she could do if she were better informed. Still the 
whole wage could only feed them if it were all expended 
ever so wisely, leaving no margin for the requirements 
already mentioned. 

Take Mrs. Marshall's family and circumstances. Mrs. 
Marshall is, to all intents and purposes, a widow, her 
husband being in an asylum. She herself is a superior 
woman, tall and handsome, and with clean dapper ways 
and a slight hardness of manner that comes from bitter 
disappointment and hopeless struggling. She has four 
children, two of whom have been taken by the Poor Law 
authorities into their district schools — a better plan than 
giving out-door relief, but, at the same time, one that 
has the disadvantage of removing the little ones from the 
home influence of a very good mother. Mrs. Marshall 
herself, after vainly trying to get work, was taken as a 
scrubber at a public institution, where she earns 9s. a 
week and her dinner. She works from six in the morn- 
ing till five at night, and then returns to her fireless, 
cheerless room to find her two children back from school 
and ready for their chief meal ; for during her absence 
their breakfast and dinner can only have consisted of 
bread and cold scraps. We will not dwell on the hard- 
ship of having to turn to and light the fire, tidy the 
room, and prepare the meal after having already done 
ten hours' scrubbing or washing. The financial ques- 
tion is now before us, and to that we will confine our 
thoughts. Out of her 9s. a week Mrs. Marshall pays 
8s. 8d. for rent; 2d. for schooling; Is. for light and 



THE POVERTY OF THE POOR 9 

firing (and this does not allow of the children having a 
morning fire before they go to school) ; 9d. she puts by 
for boots and clothing ; and imagine what it must be to 
dress, so as to keep warm, three people on 1Z. 19s. a 
year ! and 6d. she pays for her bits of washing* for she 
cannot do them herself after all her heavy daily work. 
(Pause, though, for a moment to consider how Mrs. 
Marshall's washerwoman must work when she does three 
changes of linen, aprons, sheets, and a table-cloth for 
6d. a week.) 

Deduct from the 9s. weekly wage — 

s. d. 

Rent 3 3 

Schooling 2 

Firing 10 

Clothes 9 

Washing 6 

5 8 

and 3s. 4d. is left with which to provide breakfast and 
tea for a hard-working woman for seven days in the 
week, dinner for Sunday, and three meals daily for two 
growing children of ten and eleven. We have seen how, 
even with economy, knowledge, strength, and time, proper 
food cannot be obtained for less than Id. or l\d. a meal, 
and this would make a weekly total of 5s. ll\d. 3s. 4d., 
with no time, with little knowledge, and only the remnants 
of strength, which has been used up in earning the 3s. 4d., 
is all Mrs. Marshall has with which to meet these re- 
quirements. 

And how do the rich look on these facts ? * Well ! 
nine shillings a week is very fair wage for an unskilled 
working woman,' was the remark I heard after I had told 



10 PRACTICABLE SOCIALISM 

these facts to mine host at a country house, where we 
were eating the usual regulation dinner — soup, fish, 
entree, joint, game, sweets, and hot-house fruits, said with 
the complacency of satisfaction which follows a glass of 
good wine. * Yes, about the cost of your one dinner's 
wine ! ' replied one of the guests ; but then he was 
probably one of those ill-balanced people who judge 
people by what they are rather than by what they have, 
and he may have thought that the sad, lone woman, 
with her noble virtues of industry, patience, and self- 
sacrificing love, had, despite her hard manners, more 
right to the good things of this world than the suave old 
man owning fourteen acres of lawn on which no children 
ever played, and stating, without shame, first, the fact 
that he used eighty-two tons of coal yearly to warm his 
own sitting-rooms, and then the opinion that 9s. a week 
was fair wage on which to support a good woman and 
bring up two children. 

While this wage is considered a ' fair wage,' the 
children must remain half-nourished, and grow up in- 
capable of honest toil and valuable effort. While this 
wage is accepted as a right and normal thing, it is useless 
to think that the nation will be guided through dangers 
by means of heavy subscriptions to schools, to hospitals, 
and sick-asylums. Eobust health is impossible ; so 
disease easily finds a home, and teachers vainly try to 
develop brains ill supplied with blood. By the doorway 
of semi-starvation disease is invited to enter and find a 
home among the masses of our wage-earning people. 

Before me are the dietary tables of the Whitechapel 
Workhouse — an institution which stands (thanks to 
the self-devotion of its able Clerk) high on the list for 



THE POVERTY OF THE POOR 



11 



careful management and economical administration. 
There are congregated the aged and infirm paupers, 
and among them are some of Nature's gentlefolk, the old 
and tired, who, having learnt a few of life's greatest 
lessons in their long walk through live, ought to be 
giving, them to the young and untried, instead of weary- 
ing out their last days in the dull monotony of a useless 
and regulated existence. Their dietary table allows 
them for breakfast and supper one pint of tea (made 
of one ounce to a gallon of water) and five ounces of 
bread and a tiny bit of butter. For dinner they have 
meat three times a week, pea-soup and bread twice, suet 
pudding once, and Irish stew on the other day. For 
the sake of comparison I will make a food table of this 
diet, based on the same calculations of food value as 
those that have been previously made for the family. 



Quantity of Pood. 


Carbonaceous 


Nitrogenous. 


Breakfast and Supper — Tea, 
Bread, and Butter. 

10 oz. Bread 

i oz. Butter .... 
| oz. Sugar .... 
| pint Milk .... 

Dinner — Meat and Potatoes. 

4 oz. Meat (cooked) 

8 oz. Potatoes 

2 oz. Bread .... 

Total .... 


OZ. 

* 

2 

less than £ 

1 

1* 
1 


OZ. 

3 

4 

1 

2, 
4 

i 


10i 


21 



Here we see that the total allowance comes only to 
10^ oz. of carbonaceous food and 2 J oz. of nitrogenous 
food, against the estimated quantity of 16 oz. carbon- 



12 PEACTICABLE SOCIALISM 

aceous and 4 oz. nitrogenous, which is the necessary allow- 
ance for ordinary people, and against the 25 oz. carbon- 
aceous and 5 oz. nitrogenous, which is the regulation diet 
of the Eoyal Engineers during peace. It is true that 
these old folk do not need so much food, for their bodies 
have ceased to grow and develop, and in aged persons 
the wear of the frame does not require such replenish- 
ment as is the case with young and middle-aged people ; 
but even with this partial diet we find that the cost of 
maintaining each of these old people is, for food alone, 
3s. lid. per head per week. 

Here, then, we have a fact on which a calculation is 
easy to make, and which, when made, forces us to see that 
the workman cannot keep his family as well as the pauper 
is kept. Even on this simple fare it would cost him close 
on 8s. a week to support himself so as to give him the 
strength to earn his daily bread ; while, if we imagine his 
family to consist of a wife and six children, we find that 
his weekly food-bills would amount to 1Z. 8s., calculating 
his requirements on the same basis as in the previous 
instances. 

If we take, therefore, the case of a skilled workman 
earning his 2Z. a week, we still find that, even when 
adequately fed (and keep in mind the plainness and un- 
attractiveness of the diet), he has only 12s. a week to 
supply all other necessaries and out of which to lay by, 
not only against old age and sickness, but against that 
' rainy day ' and * out of work from slackness ' which so 
often occur for weeks together in the weather chart of 
our artisan population. 

Or take another case, that of Mr. and Mrs. Stone- 
man, excellent folk : the wife, a woman of such force and 



THE POVERTY OF THE POOR 13 

originality of character, such patience and sweet persist- 
ency, as would make her an ornament in any class ; the 
husband an honest, steady man, not, perhaps, so clever 
as his wife, but loving and admiring her none the less 
for that. They have six children : the two eldest at 
work ; the youngest a sweet tiny thing, as spotlessly 
clean as water and care can keep it in this mud-coloured 
atmosphere of Whitechapel. Her husband earns 28s. a 
week, excepting when bad illness, lasting sometimes six 
and eight weeks, reduces his wages to nothing ; and then 
the sick man, his wife, and four children have to live, pay 
rent, firing, and * doctor's stuff ' on the club-money of 
14s. a week, for the boys' earnings can only support 
themselves. 

"Which of us would consider that he could supply food 
and sick-luxuries for even one person on 14s. a week, 
the sum fixed by the rich as board wages for an unneeded 
man-servant ? ' 

On the face of it this family is perhaps exceptionally 
well-off, for the two big lads in it earn, the one 5s. the 
other 7s. a week, which brings the united weekly wage up 
to 35s. a week. Mrs. Stoneman is a friend of mine, and, 
in response to my request, she weighed all the food at 
every meal, and here is the result. 

At the time, however, that this was done Mrs. 
Stoneman's children had been sent by the Children's 
Country Holiday Fund into the country for a fortnight's 
holiday. We must therefore suppose the family to 
consist only of six, and the necessary quantity of food to 
sustain them in good healthy working condition would 
be 76 oz. of carbonaceous food and 19 oz. of nitrogenous 
food. 



PRACTICABLE SOCIALISM 

&ONDAY MEALS, 



M»«M 


Cost 


BfeMgtb- 


H ■:■'.- 


B REAKFABT — BeEAD AN D 








Buiiee and Fish. 


s. (2. 


0Z 


02. 


1J lb. Bread . 


2 


iU 


ti 


li oz. Butter 












1 Haddock 






3 






| oz. Tisa . 






k 






2| ok. Sugar 






{ 


2 


I 


', (lint TimiM.l Milk 






i 




Dcnee — Beef and Vege- 








tables, Aitlk I'BDDISO. 








lib. 3 oz. Beef. 


1 5 


31 


| 


3 lb. 10 oz. Potatoes 






12J 


1 lb. Heaus 




2~ 














±a 




S lb. Flour 
i lb. Lard . 






3 










2 


3 




1 lb. Apples 






2 


2 


i 


1! 2 oz. Sugar 


i 


1 


— 


Tii^— Beead and Buitbu. 








1 lb. Bread 


l\ 


H 


21 


2 oz. Butter . 




2 


l| 




1 oz. Tea . 




j 










2 




| pint Tinned Milk 




* 


1 


i 


Scrrsn— Bread and Cheese 








1 lb. Bread 


1J 





H 


1 lb. Cbeese 




1 


141 


Total 




• 


3 llj 


H| 



Wednesday Meals 



Quintlty of Food 


Cost 


Strp.n«tli- 
BlTing. 


J&k. 


BreakfAhT— Beeid and 

ECTTEB. 

21b. Bread 

3{ oz. Butter . 

1 oz. Tea . 

2 oz. Sugar 

i pint Tinned Milk . 


3. d. 
3 

a | 
I 

1 


18 


3 
i 



THE POVERTY OF THE POOR 



15 



Wednesday Meals— 


(continued). 




Quantity of Food 


Cost. 


Strength- 
giving 


Flesh- 
repairing 


Dinner — Bacon Pudding. 


s. d. 


OZ. 


OZ. 


1 lb. Bacon 

2 lb. Potatoes . 
J lb. Flour 

2 oz. Suet .... 


6 
2 

1 


3 
7 
9 


3 
1 

3 
4 


Tea — Bread and Butter. 








3 lbs. Bread 

2J oz. Butter . 

J oz. Tea .... 

2£ oz. Sugar . 

^ pint Tinned Milk . 


1 

t 

1 

2 


21 
2 

2 

ii 

4 


*2 

1 
4 


Supper — Bread and Cheese. 








f lb. Bread 
3 oz. Cheese 

Total . 


1 
1* 


6| 


2} 
1 


2 6J 


77J 


16 



Saturday Meals. 



Quantity of Food 


Cost 


Strength- 
giving. 


Flesh- 
repairing 


Breakfast — Bread and 








Butter. 


s. d. 


OZ. 


OZ. 


1} lb. Bread 


n 


m 


2i 


3 oz. Butter 


3 


n 


— 


3£ oz. Sugar 


1 


3 


— 


1 pint Tinned Milk 


n 


1* 


3 
4 


Dinner — Bread and Cheese 








and Coffee. 








J lb. Bread 


i 


6»- 


4 


J lb. Cheese 


4 


2* 


1 pint Milk, Coffee . 


1J 


U 


u 

4 


Tea — Bread and Butter 








and Fish. 








2 lb. 4 oz. Bread 


H 


20J 


US 
*4 


2\ oz. Butter . 


2* 


2 




2 Herrings 


2 





_ — 


2J oz. Sugar . 


1 

1 


2 





\ pint Tinned Milk . 


1 


1 
2 


Supper — Bread and Cheese. 








14 oz. Bread 


i| 


8* 


1 


J lb. Cheese 
Total 


2 


1 


1* 


2 2£ 


66J 


lojr 



16 PRACTICABLE SOCIALISM 

This is the food-table of one of the best of managers. 
It could not well be simpler, and yet we see that it fails 
every day, sometimes to the extent of one-third, in pro- 
viding sufficient nitrogenous or flesh-repairing food ; but 
even so the cost for the three days makes a total of 
8s. 8%d., or, say, on an average, 8s. a day. Thus it took 
11. Is. a week to feed this family simply and wholesomely at 
a time when two of its hungry members of eight and eleven 
were away. The weekly rent to house it in two rooms 
takes 5s. Id. ; to educate the school-going members, Id. 
a week must be paid ; to keep the fire and lights going 
(and this, of course, is more expensive than if the fuel 
could be got in in large quantities) demands 2s. Hd. a 
week; and to provide washing materials another Is. 
must be deducted. 

When these outgoings are met there remains but 4s. 4d. 
with which to provide the food of the two then absent chil- 
dren, to pay club subscriptions for three people (because 
each of the working members is in a sick-club and burial 
club), to procure boots, clothes, and to lay by against the 
days of illness, slackness, and old age. 

Now these are the facts which, summed up in a sen- 
tence, amount to this, that while wages are at the pre- 
sent rate the large mass of our people cannot get enough 
food to maintain them in robust health, and bodily health 
is here alone considered. 

No mention has been made of the food a man requires 
to keep his whole nature in robust health ; of the books, 
the means of culture, the opportunities of social inter- 
course, which are as necessary for his mental health and 
development as food and drink are for his bodily. No 
account has been taken of all that each human being 



THE POVERTY OF THE POOR 17 

needs to keep his spiritual nature alive. The quiet times 
in the country or by the sea, the knowledge of Nature's 
mysteries, the opportunities for the cultivation of natural 
affection. * Yes, it is seven years since me and my 
daughter met,' I heard a gentle old lady of sixty-nine say 
the other day, one of God's aristocracy, the upper class 
in virtue and unselfishness. * You see, she lives a pretty 
step from here, and moving about is not to be thought 
of when money is so scarce.' 

The body's needs are the most exacting ; they make 
themselves felt with daily recurring persistency, and, 
while they remain unsatisfied, it is hard to give time or 
thought to the mental needs or the spiritual require- 
ments ; but if our nation is to be wise and righteous, as 
well as healthy and strong, they must be considered. A 
fair wage must allow a man, not only to adequately feed 
himself and his family, but also to provide the means 
of mental cultivation and spiritual development. Indeed, 
some humanitarians assert that it should be sufficient to 
give him a home wherein he may rest from noise, with 
books, pictures, and society ; and there are those who 
go so far as to suggest that it should be sufficient to 
enable him to learn the larger lessons which travellers 
gain from other nations, as well as the teaching which 
the great dumb teachers wait to impart to 'those 
with ears to hear ' of fraternity, purity, and eternal 
hope. 

Why is it that our wage-earners cannot get this ? 
Why is it that, as we indulge in such dreams, they sound 
impossible and almost impracticable, though no reader 
of this Eeview will add undesirable ? Is it because our 
nation has not fought Ignorance, with pointed weapons, 

c 



18 PRACTICABLE SOCIALISM 

and by its knights of proved prowess and valour ? Or is 
it because our rulers have not recognised the Greed of 
certain classes or individuals as a national evil, and 
struggled against it with the strength of unity ? It can- 
not be the want of money in our land which causes so 
many to be half- fed and cry silently from want of strength 
to make a noise. As we stand at Hyde Park Corner, or 
wander in among the miles of streets of * gentlemen's 
residences ' in the West End, our hearts are gladdened 
at the sight of the wealth that is in our land ; but they 
would be glad with a deeper gladness if Wilkins was not 
getting slowly brutalised by his struggle, if there were a 
chance of Alice and Johnnie Marshall growing up as 
Nature meant them to grow, or if clever Mrs. Stoneman's 
patient efforts could be crowned with success. Money in 
plenty is in our midst, but cruel, blinding Poverty keeps 
her company, and our nation cannot boast herself of her 
wealth while half her people are but partly fed, and too 
poor to use their minds or to aspire after holiness. 

By the optimist we may be told that all mention of 
charitable aid has been omitted ; that in such a case as 
that of Wilkins, or of Mrs. Marshall, there would be aid 
from the philanthropic ; that old clothes would do some- 
thing to replenish the wardrobe, otherwise to be kept 
supplied by 11. 19s. a year ; and that scraps and broken 
victuals find their way from most back-doors into the 
homes of the poor. But, though this may be true when 
the poor are scattered among the rich, it is not true of that 
neighbourhood which I know best, where through miles of 
streets the income of each resident does not exceed thirty 
shillings a week, and where the four-roomed houses (as 
a rule, let out to two or three families) are unrelieved by 



THE POVERTY OF THE POOR 19 

a single house inhabited by only one family, or where 
ihey * keeps a servant.' 

The advocates of children's penny dinners may take 
these facts as a strong argument in favour of their 
scheme, and feel that in this simple method is the solu- 
tion of the difficulty. But those who so think cannot 
have considered the question in all its bearings. If feed- 
ing the children enables us to limit the power of disease, it 
does so by putting fresh weapons into the hands of the 
Greed of certain classes or individuals, which is so ill- 
curbed and ineffectively conquered as to be nothing loth to 
take advantage of every opportunity of working its cruel 
will. 

If the children are fed at school it enables the mother 
to go out to work. The supply of female labour is thus 
increased, and married women can offer their work at 
lower wages than widows or single ones, because their 
labour is only supplementary to that of their hus- 
bands. The consequence is that wages go down, because 
more women are in the labour market than are needed, 
and those get the work who will take it for the least re- 
muneration. Thus, though Mrs. Harris may get work, 
her children being * now fed by the ladies round at the 
school,' she does so at the expense of lowering Jane Met- 
calf s wages ; and, as Jane is working to help her widowed 
mother to keep the four younger children off the parish, 
the only result is that Tommie and Lizzie and the two 
baby Metcalfs get worse food, and Jane finds life harder, 
and sometimes sees temptation through magnifying- 
glasses. 

Besides these economic results which must inevitably 
follow the plan of feeding the children on any large 

c 2 



20 ' PRACTICABLE SOCIALISM 

scale, there are others which ensue from the lightening of 
parental responsibility, and these everyone who knows 
the poor can foresee without the gift of prophecy ; the 
idle father is made more idle, the gossiping mother less 
controlled, and from the drunken parent is taken the last 
feeble bond which binds him to sobriety and its hopeful 
consequences. But perhaps as important as any of these 
results is the evil which follows the taking the children 
from the home influence. In our English love of home 
is one of our hopes for the future ; and not the least 
conspicuous as a moral training-ground is the family 
dinner-table. There the mother can teach the little 
lessons of good manners and neat ways, and the larger 
truths of unselfishness and thoughtfulness. There the 
whole family can meet, and from the talks over meals, 
during the time which, as things now are, is perhaps the 
only leisure of the busy mechanic, may grow that sym- 
pathy between the older and younger people which must 
refresh and gladden both. No ; it is not by any charitable 
effort that this poverty must be fought. A national want 
must be met by a national effort, and the thought of the 
political economist, which has hitherto been devoted to 
the question of production and accumulation of wealth, 
must now turn its attention to the problem of its right 
use and distribution, recognising that ' the wise use of 
wealth in developing a complete human life is of incom- 
parably the greater moment both to men and nations.' 
While more than half the English people are unable to 
live their best life or reach their true standard of human- 
ity, it is useless to congratulate ourselves on our national 
supremacy or class our nation as wealthy. 

Some economists will reply that these sad conditions 



THE POVERTY OF THE POOR 21 

are but the result of our freedom ; that the boasted 
' liberty ' in our land must result in the few strong making 
themselves stronger, and in the many weak suffering from 
their weakness. But is this necessarily so ? Is this the 
only result to be expected from human beings having 
the power to act as they please ? Are not love, goodwill, 
and social instincts as truly parts of human character 
as greed, selfishness, and sulkiness; and may we not 
believe that human nature is great enough to care to use 
its freedom for the good of all ? Men have done noble 
things to obtain this freedom. They have loved her with 
the ardour of a lover's love, with the patience of a silver 
wedded life ; and now that they have her, is she only to 
be used to injure the weak, and to make life cruel and 
almost impossible to the large majority ? ' What is the 
right use of freedom ? * The ancient, answer was, ' To 
love God.' And can we love God whom we have not seen 
when we love not our brother whom we have seen ? 

Henrietta 0. Barnett. 



22 PRACTICABLE SOCIALISM 



n. 

BELIEF FUNDS AND THE POOR. 1 

The poverty of the poor and the failure of the Mansion 
House Belief Fund are the facts which stand out from the 
gloom of a winter when dark weather, dull times, and 
discontent united to depress both the hopes of the poor 
and the energy of their friends. The memory of days 
full of unavailing complaint and of aimless pity is one 
from which all minds readily turn, quieting their fears 
with the assumption that the poverty was exaggerated 
or that the generosity of the rich is ample for all 
occasions. 

The facts, however, remain that the poor are very 
poor, and that the fund failed as a means of relief; and 
these facts must be faced if a lesson is to be learnt from 
the past, and a way discovered through the perils of the 
future. The policies which occupy the leaders' minds, 
the interests of business, the theologies, the fashions, are 
but webs woven in the trees while the storm is rising in 
the distance. Sounds of the storm are already in the air, 
a murmuring among those who have not enough, puffs 
of boasting from those who have too much, and a mutter- 

1 Reprinted, by permission, from the Nineteenth Century of No- 
vember 1886. 



RELIEF FUNDS AND THE POOR 23 

ing from those who are angry because while some are 
drunken others are starving. The social question is 
rising for solution, and, though for a moment it is for- 
gotten, it will sweep to the front and put aside as cobwebs 
the ' deep ' concerns of leaders and teachers. The danger 
is lest it be settled by passion and not by reason, lest, 
that is, reforms be hurriedly undertaken in answer to 
some cry, and without consideration of facts, their weight, 
their causes, and their relation. 

The study of the condition of the people receives 
hardly as much attention as that which Sir J. Lubbock 
gives to the ants and the wasps. Bold good men discuss 
the poor, and cheques are given by irresponsible bene- 
factors ; but there are few students who reverently and 
patiently make observations on social conditions, accu- 
mulate facts, and watch cause and effect. Scientific 
method has won the great victories of the day, and 
scientific method is supreme everywhere except in those 
human affairs which most concern humanity. 

Ten years ago Arnold Toynbee demanded a ' body of 
doctrine ' from those who cared for the poor. He sought 
an intellectual basis for moral fervour," and yet to-day 
what a muck-heap is our social legislation, what a con- 
fusion of opinion there exists about the poor law, educa- 
tion, emigration, and land laws ! All reformers are driving 
on ; but what is each driving at ? Sometimes the same 
driver has aims obviously incompatible, as when the Lord 
Mayor one day signs a report which says that ' the spas- 
modic assistance given by the public in answer to special 
appeals is really useless/ and another day himself in- 
augurates a relief fund by a special appeal. 

One of the facts made evident last winter is the poverty 



24 PRACTICABLE SOCIALISM 

of the poor, and it is a fact about which the public mind 
is uncertain. 

The working men when they appear at meetings 
seem to be well dressed in black cloth, the statistics of 
trades-unions, friendly, co-operative, and building so- 
cieties show the members to be so numerous, and the 
accumulated funds to be so far above thousands and so 
near to millions sterling, that the necessary conclusion 
is, ' There is no poverty among the poor.' But then the 
clergy or missionaries echo some ' bitter cry/ and tell 
how there are thousands of working folk in danger 
of starvation, thousands without warmth or clothing, 
and the necessary conclusion is, i All the poor are 
poverty-stricken.' The public mind halts between these 
two conclusions and is uncertain. 

The uncertainty is due partly to the vague use of the 
term ' poor/ by which is generally meant all those who 
are not tradespeople or capitalists, and partly to an in- 
ability to appreciate the size of London. The poor, it is 
obvious, form only a minority in the community, and a 
•minority suggests something unimportant, and notwith- 
standing the size of London, it is regarded as a small 
and manageable body. 

Last winter's experience clears away all uncertainty, 
and shows that there is a vast mass of people in London 
who have neither black coats nor savings, and whose life 
is dwarfed and shortened by want of food and clothing. 
In Whitechapel there is a population of 70,000 : of these 
some 20 per cent., exclusive of the Jewish population, 
applie d at the office of the Mansion House Eelief Fund 
during the three months it was opened. In St. George's, 
East, there is a population of 50,000, and of these 29 



BELIEF FUNDS AND THE POOR 25 

per cent, applied. Among all who applied the number 
belonging to any trades-union or friendly society was 
very few. In Whitechapel only six out of 1,700 applicants 
were members of a benefit club. In St. George's only 
177 out of 3,578 called themselves artisans. In Stepney 
1,000 men applied before one mechanic came, and only 
one member of a trades-union came under notice at all. 
In the Tower Hamlets division of East London out of a 
population of 500,000, 17,384 applied, representing 
86,920 persons. It may be safely assumed that all in 
need did not apply, and that many thousands were 
assisted by other agencies. The reports of some of the 
visitors expressly state that the numbers they give are 
exclusive of many referred to the Jewish Board of 
Guardians, the clergy, and other agencies, while numbers 
of those who did apply either did not wait to have their 
names entered or were so manifestly beyond the reach 
of money help that they were not recorded among appli- 
cants. Especially noteworthy among the remarks of the 
visitors is one, that all who applied would at any season 
of the year apply in the same way and give the same evi- 
dence of poverty. ' If a fund was advertised as largely 
as this fund has been in summer, and when trade was at 
its best, precisely the same people would apply.' The 
truth of the remark has been put to the test, and during 
the summer a large number of those relieved in the 
winter have been visited, with the result that they have 
been found apparently in like misery and equally in need 
of assistance. 

Of the poverty of those who made application there 
has been no question. Some may have brought it on 
themselves by drink or by vice, some may have been 



26 PRACTICABLE SOCIALISM 

• 

thriftless and without self-control ; but all were poor, so 
poor as to be without the things necessary for mere 
existence. The men and women who crowded the relief 
offices had haggard and drawn faces, their worn and thin 
bodies shivered under their rags of clothing, and they 
gave no sign of strength or of hope. Their homes were 
squalid, the children ill-fed, ill-clad, and joyless, their re- 
cord showed that for months they had received no regular 
wage, and that their substance was more often at the 
pawnbroker's than in the home. 

Last winter's experience shows that outside the 
classes of regular wage-earning workmen, who are often 
included among ' the poor,' is a mass of people number- 
ing some tens of thousands who are without the means 
of living. These are the poor, and their poverty is the 
common concern. 

Statistics prove what has long been known to those 
whose business lies in poor places, and to them the 
reports of the increased prosperity of the country have 
been like songs of gladness in a land of sorrow. They 
know the streets in which every room is a home, the 
homes in which there is no comfort for the sick, no easy- 
chair for the weary, no bath for the tired, no fresh air, 
no means of keeping food, no space for play, no possibility 
of quiet, and to them the news of the national wealth and 
the sight of fashionable luxury seem but cruel satire. 
The little dark rooms may bear traces of the man's 
struggle or of the woman's patience, but the homes of 
the poor are sad, like the fields of lost battles, where 
heroism has fought in vain. By no struggle and by no 
patience can health be won in so few feet of cubic air, and 
no parent dares to hope that he can make the time of 



BELIEF FUNDS AND THE POOR 27 

youth so joyful as to for ever hold his children to 
pleasures which are pure. The homes of the poor are a 
mockery of the name, but yet how many would think 
themselves happy if even such homes were secure, and if 
they were able to look to the future without seeing 
starvation for their children and the workhouse for them- 
selves ! One example will illustrate many. The Browns 
are a family of five ; they occupy one room. The man is 
a labourer, London-born, quick-witted and slow-bodied, 
and, as many labourers do, he fills up slack time with 
hawking ; the woman takes in her neighbours' washing. 
Their room, twelve feet by ten feet, is crowded with two 
bedsteads, the implements for washing, the coal-bin, a 
table, a chest, and a few chairs ; on the walls are 
some pictures, the human protest against the doctrine 
that the poor can ' live by bread alone.' The man earns 
sometimes 8s., often nothing, in the day ; and his wife 
brings in sometimes &d. or 9d. a day, but her work fills 
the room with damp and discomfort, and almost 
necessarily keeps the husband out of doors. Both man 
and woman are still young, but they look aged, and the 
children ^tre thin and delicate. They seldom have enough 
to eat and never enough to wear, they are rarely healthy, 
and are never so happy as to thank God for their creation. 
Hard work will make these children orphans, or bad air, 
cold, and hunger will make these parents childless. 

In the case of another family, where the wage is 
regular — the income is 1Z. a week — the outlook is not 
much brighter. Here there is the same crowded room, 
for which 3s. a week is paid, the same weary, half-starved 
faces, the same want of air and water. Here, too, the 
parents dare not look forwards, because even if the income 



28 PRACTICABLE SOCIALISM 

remains permanent, it cannot secure necessaries for 
sickness, it cannot educate or apprentice the children, 
and it cannot provide for their own old age. No income, 
however, does remain permanent, and the regular hand 
is always anxious lest a change in trade, or in his em- 
ployer's temper, may send him adrift. 

In the cases where there is drink, carelessness, or 
idleness everything of course looks worse. The room 
is poorer and dirtier, the faces more shrunken, and the 
clothes thinner. Indignation against sin does not settle 
the matter. The poverty is manifest, and if the cause 
be in the weakness of human nature, then the greater 
and the harder is the duty of effecting its cure. 

Cases of poverty such as these are common ; they who 
by business, duty, or affection go among the poor know of 
their existence ; but if those who hire a servant, employ 
workpeople, or buy cheap articles would think about what 
they talk, they could not longer content themselves with 
phrases about thrift as almighty for good, and intem- 
perance as almighty for evil. Fourteen pounds a year, 
if a domestic servant has unfailing health and unbroken 
work from the age of twenty to fifty-five, will . only en- 
able her to save enough for her old age by giving up all 
pleasure, by neglecting her own family duties, and by 
impoverishing her life to make a livelihood. Very sad 
is it to meet in some back-room the living remains of 
an old servant. Mrs. Smith is sixty-five years old ; she 
has been all her life in service, and saved over 100Z. 
She has had but little joy in her youth, and now in her 
old age she is lonely. Her fear is lest, spending only 
7s. a week, her savings may not last her life. She could 
hardly have done more, and what she did was not enough. 



BELIEF FUNDS AND THE POOR 29 

A wage of 20s. or 25s. a week is called good wages, yet 
it leaves the earners unable to buy sufficient food or to 
procure any means of recreation. The following table 1 
represents the necessary weekly expenditure of a family 
of eight persons, of whom six are children. It allows for 
each day no cheering luxuries, but only the bare amount 
of carbonaceous and nitrogenous foods which are abso- 
lutely necessary for the maintenance of the body. 

Food, i.e. oatmeal, ljlb. of meat a day among £ s. d. 
eight persons, cocoa and bread . . . 14 

Bent for two small rooms 5 

Schooling for four children . . . .004 

Washing 10 

Firing and light 2 6 

Total 1 2 10 

If to this 2s. a week be added for clothes (and what 
woman dressing on 1001. or SOI. a year could allow less 
than 51. a year to clothe a working man, his wife, and 
six children) then the necessary weekly expenditure of 
the family is 11. 4s. lOd. Few fathers or mothers are 
able to resist, or ought to resist, the temptation of taking 
or giving some pleasure ; so even where work is regular, 
and paid at 11. 5a. a week, there must be in the home 
want of food as well as of the luxuries which gladden 
life. 

Those dwellers in pleasant places, without experi- 
ence of the homes of the poor, who will resolutely set 
themselves to think about what they do know must 
realise that those who make cheap goods are too poor to 

1 This table is taken from a paper written by my wife in the National 
Review, July 1886, in which she illustrates by many examples that the 
Average wage is insufficient to support life. 



30 PRACTICABLE SOCIALISM 

do their duty to themselves, their neighbours, and their 
country. The mystery, indeed, remains, how many 
manage to live at all. 

One solution is that there exists among these irregu- 
lar workers a kind of communism. They prefer to 
occupy the same neighbourhood and make long journeys 
to work rather than go to live among strangers. They 
easily borrow and easily lend. The women spend much 
time in gossiping; know intimately one another's affairs, 
and in times of trouble help willingly. One couple, 
whose united earnings have never reached 15s. a week, 
whose home has never been more than one small room, 
has brought up in succession three orphans. The old 
man, at seventy years of age, just earns a living by 
running messages or by selling wirework ; but even now 
he spends many a night in hushing a baby whose deser- 
tion he pities, and whom he has taken to his care. 

The poverty of the poor is understood by the poor, 
and their charity is according to the measure of Christ's. 
The charity of the rich is according to another measure, 
because they do not know of poverty, and they do not 
know because they no not think. Only the self-satisfied 
Pharisee and the proud Eoman could pass Calvary un- 
moved, and only the self-absorbed can be ignorant that 
every day the innocent and helpless are crucified. The 
selfishness of modern life is shown most clearly in this 
absence of thought. Absorbed in their own concerns, 
kindly people carelessly hear statements, see prices, and 
face sights which imply the ruin of their fellow-creatures. 
The rich would not be so cruel if they would think. 
Thought about the amount of food which * good wages ' 
can buy, about the hours spent in making matches or 



RELIEF FUNDS AND THE POOR 31 

coats, about the sorrows behind the faces of those who 
serve them in shops or pass them in the streets ; thought 
would make the rich ready to help ; and the fact that there 
are among the 500,000 inhabitants of the Tower Hamlets 
86,920 too poor to live is enough to make them think. 

The failure of the relief fund is the other fact of the 
winter to stir thought. 

Mansion House relief represents the mercies to which 
the wisdom and the love of the completest age have 
committed the needs of the poor. Never were needs so 
delicate left to mercies so clumsy; needs intertwined 
with the sorrows and sufferings with which no stranger 
could intermeddle have been met with the brutal gene- 
rosity of gifts given often with little thought or cost. 
The result has been an increase of the causes which make 
poverty and a decrease of good- will among men. 

The fund failed even to relieve distress. In St. 
George's-in-the-East there were nearly 4,000 applicants, 
representing 20,000 persons. All of these were in distress 
— were, that is, cold and hungry. Of these there were 
2,400 applicants, representing some* 12,000 persons — 
whom the committee considered to be working people 
unemployed and within the scope of the fund. For 
their relief 2,000Z. was apportioned ; and if it had been 
equally divided each person would have had 3s. 4d. on 
which to support life during three months. Such sums 
might have relieved the givers, pleased by the momentary 
satisfaction of the recipient, but they would not have re- 
lieved the poor, who would still have had to endure days 
and weeks of want. 

The fund was thus in the first place inadequate to 
relieve the distress. An attempt was made in some 



32 PRACTICABLE SOCIALISM 

districts by discrimination to make it useful to those 
who were 'deserving.' Forms were given out to be 
filled in by applicants ; visitors were appointed to visit 
the homes and to make inquiries ; committees sat daily 
to consider and decide on applications. The end of all 
has been that in one district those assisted were found 
to be ' improvident, unsober, and non-industrious/ and 
in another the almoner can only say, ' they are a care- 
less, hard-living, hard-drinking set of people, and are so 
much what their circumstances have made them that 
terms of moral praise or blame are hardly applicable.' 

An analysis of the decisions of the committees formed 
in the various parts of the Tower Hamlets shows that 
the decisions were according to different standards, and 
with different views of what was meant by 'assistance.' 
A half-crown a week was voted for the support of one 
family in which the man was a notorious drunkard. 
Twelve pounds were given to start a costermonger on one 
day, while at a subsequent committee meeting 10s. was 
voted for a family in almost identical circumstances. In 
one district casual labourers were given 20s. or 80s., but 
in the neighbouring district casual labourers were refused 
relief. 

Methods of relief were as many as were the districts 
into which London was divided. In Whitechapel a labour 
test was applied. The labourers were offered street- 
sweeping ; and those who were used only to indoor work 
were put to whitewashing, window-cleaning, or tailoring. 
The women were given needlework. When it was known 
to the large crowd brought to the office by the advertise- 
ment of the fund that work was to be offered to the able - 
bodied, there was among the ne'er-do-weels great indig- 



RELIEF FUNDS AND THE POOR 33 

nation. ' Call this charity ! ' ' We will complain to the 
Lord Mayor, wa will break windows,' and addressing the 
almoners, * It is you fellows who are getting 11. a day for 
your work/ Many 'finding they could not get relief 
without doing work did not persist in their application/ 
and they were not entered as applicants, but work was 
actually offered to 850 men and accepted by only 339. 
Of these the foreman writes, ' The labour test was a sore 
trial for a great many of them. I repeatedly had it said 
to me by them, " The Fund is a charity, and we ought 
not to work for it." ' 

In St. George's there was no labour test, and there 
1,689 men and 682 women received assistance in food 
or in materials for labour. In Stepney the conditions 
under which the Fund was collected were strictly observed, 
and only those ' out of employment through the present 
depression' were assisted. The consequence was that 
casual labourers, the sick, the aged, all known to be 
frequently out of work, were refused, and much of the 
Fund was spent in large sums for the emigration of a 
few. In this district the committee was largely composed 
of members of friendly societies, men who, by experience, 
were familiar both with the habits of the poor and with 
the methods of relief. Their co-operation was invaluable, 
both in itself and also for the confidence which it won for 
the administration. 

In Mile End the committee had another standard of 
character and another method of inquiry. No record 
was kept of the number of applications, and those re- 
lieved have been differently described as 'good men' 
and 'loafers' by different members of the committee. 

D 



34 PEACTICABIE SOCIALISM 

2,539Z. were spent among 2,133 families, an average of 
4s. lOd. a person. The Poplar Committee has published 
no report, but one of its members writes : * Belief was 
often given without investigation to old, chronic, sick, 
and poor-law cases, without distinction as to character ; 
the rule was, Give, give ! spend, spend ! ' and another 
states the opinion 'that the" whole neighbourhood was 
demoralised by the distribution of the Fund.' As a 
result of their experiences, some of those engaged in 
relief in this district are now making efforts to unite 
workmen, and the members of benefit societies, in the 
administration of future funds. 

The sort of relief given was as various as the methods 
of relief. Sometimes money, sometimes tickets, some- 
times food ; the variety is excused by one visitor, who 
says, 'We were ten days at work before instructions 
came from the Mansion House, and then it was too late 
to change our system.' Discrimination utterly broke 
down, and with all the appliances it was chance which 
ruled the decision. The gifts fell on the worthy and on 
the unworthy, but as they fell only in partial showers, 
none received enough and many who were worthy went 
empty away. 

Discrimination of desert is indeed impossible. The 
poor-law officials, with ample time and long experience, 
cannot say who deserves or would be benefited by out- 
relief. Amateurs appointed in a hurry, and confused 
by numbers, vainly try to settle desert. Systems must 
adopt rules ; friendship alone can settle merit. 

The Fund failed to relieve distress, and further 
developed some of the causes which make poverty. 

Prominent among such causes are (1) faith in chance ; 



BELIEF FUNDS AND THE POOB 85 

(2) dishonesty in its fullest sense ; (3) the unwisdom of 
so-called charity. 

(1) The big advertisement of ' 70,00(M. to be given 
away ' offered a chance which attracted idlers, and 
relaxed in many the energies hitherto so patiently 
braced to win a living for wife or children. The effect 
is frequently noticed in the reports. The St. George's- 
in-the-East visitors emphasise the opinion that it was 
« the great publicity of the Fund which made its dis- 
tribution so difficult.' A visitor in Poplar thinks ' the 
publicity was tempting to bad cases and deterrent of 
good ones.' The chance of a gift out of so big a sum 
was too good to be missed for the sake of hard work and 
small wages. 

Faith in chance was further encouraged by the 
irregular methods of administration. Eefusals and re- 
lief followed no law discoverable by the poor. In the 
same street one washerwoman was set up with stock, 
while another in equal circumstances was dismissed. In 
adjoining districts such various systems were adopted 
that of three ' mates ' one would receive work, another a 
gift, and the third nothing. * The power of chance ' was 
the teaching of the Fund, started through the accidental 
emotions of a Lord Mayor, and they who believe in 
chance give up effort, become wayward, and lose power of 
mind and body. Chance leads her followers to poverty, 
and the increase of the spirit of gambling is not the least 
among the causes of distress. 

(2) The remark is sometimes made that * the 
righteous man is never found begging his bread/ or, in 
other words, that there is always work for the man who 
can be trusted. Honesty in its fullest sense, implying 

D 2 



36 PRACTICABLE SOCIALISM 

absolute truth, thoroughness, and responsibility, has 
great value in the labour market, and agencies which 
increase a trust in honesty increase wealth. The 
tendency of the Fund has been to create a trust in lies. 
Its organisation of visitors and committees offered a show 
of resistance to lies, but over such resistance lies easily 
triumphed, and many notorious evil-livers got by a good 
story the relief denied to others. Anecdotes are common 
as to the way in which visitors were deceived, committees 
hoodwinked, and money wrongly gained, while the better 
sort of poor, failing to understand how so much money 
could have had so little effect, hold the officials to have 
been smart fellows who took care of themselves. The 
laughter roused by such talk is the laughter which de- 
moralises, it is the praise of the power of lies, and the 
laughers will not be among those who by honesty do well 
for themselves and for others. 

(3) The mischief of foolish charity is a text on 
which much has been written, but no doubt exists as to 
the power of wise charity. The teaching which fits the 
young to do better work or to find resource in a bye- 
trade, the influence by which the weak are strengthened 
to resist temptation, the application of principles which 
will give confidence, and the setting up of ideals which 
will enlarge the limits of life— this is the charity which 
conquers poverty. In East London there are many 
engaged in such charity, and to their work the action of 
the Fund was most prejudicial. Some of them, carried 
away by the excitement, relaxed their patient, silent 
efforts, while they tried to meet a thousand needs with 
no other remedy than a gift. Others saw their work 
spoiled, their lessons of self-help undone by the offer of 



RELIEF FUNDS AND THE POOR 37 

a dole, their teaching of the duty of helping others 
forgotten in the greedy scramble for graceless gifts. They 
devoted themselves to do their utmost and bore the 
heavy burden of distributing the Fund, but most of them 
speak sadly of their experience. They laboured some- 
times for sixteen hours a day, but their labour was not 
to do good but to prevent evil — a labour of pain — and 
one, speaking the experience of his fellows, says ' their 
labours had the appearance of a hurried and spasmodic 
effort.' The fund of charity, like a torrent, swept away 
the tender plants which the stream of charity had 
nourished. 

In the face of all this experience it is not extravagant 
to say that the means of relief used last winter developed 
the causes of poverty. It may be that if all the poor 
were self-controlled and honest, and if all charity were 
wise, poverty would still exist ; but self-indulgence, lies, 
and unwise charity are causes of poverty, and these 
causes have been strengthened. One visitor's report 
sums up the whole matter when it says : — 

They (the applicants) have received their relief, and they 
are now in much the same position as they were before, and 
as they will be found, it is feared, in future winters, until 
more effectual and less spasmodic means of improving their 
condition can be devised, for the causes of distress are chronic 
and permanent. The foundation of such independence of 
character as they possessed has been shaken, and some of 
them have taken the first step in mendicancy, which is too 
often never retraced. 

Examples, of course, may be found where the relief 
has been helpful, and some visitors, in the comtemplation 
of the worthy family relieved from pressure and set free to 



38 PRACTICABLE SOCIALISM 

work, may think that one such result justifies many 
failures. It is not, though, expedient that many should 
suffer for one, or that a population should be demoralised 
in order that two or three might have enough. 

The Fund as a means of relief has failed : it is con- 
demned by the recipients, who are bitter on account of 
disappointed hopes ; by the almoners, whose only satis- 
faction is that they managed to do the least possible 
mischief ; and by the mechanics, whose name was taken 
in vain by the agitators who went to the Lord Mayor, 
and who feel their class degraded by a system of relief 
which assumes improvidence and imposition among work- 
ing men. 

The failure of the latest method of relief has been 
made as manifest as the poverty, and no prophet is 
needed to tell that bad times are coming. The outlook is 
most gloomy. The August reports of trades societies 
characterise trade as ' dull ' or * very slack.' The pawn- 
brokers report in the same month that they are taking 
in rather than handing out pledges, and all those who 
have experience of the poor consider poverty to be chronic. 
If not in the coming winter, still in the near future there 
must be trouble. 

Poverty in London is increasing both relatively and 
actually. Eelative poverty may be lightly considered, 
but it breeds trouble as rapidly as actual poverty. 
The family which has an income sufficient to support 
life on oatmeal will not grow in good-will when they 
know that daily meat and holidays are spoken of 
as * necessaries ' for other workers and children. Educa- 
tion and the spread of literature have raised the standard 
of living, and they who cannot provide boots for their 



RELIEF FUNDS AND THE POOR 39 

children, nor sufficient fresh air, nor clean clothes, nor 
means of pleasure, feel themselves to be poor, and have 
the hopelessness which is the curse of poverty, as selfish- 
ness is the curse of wealth. 

Poverty, however, in East London, is increasing 
actually. It is increased (1) by the number of incapables : 
'broken men, who by their misfortunes or their vices 
have fallen out of regular work,' and who are drawn to 
East London because chance work is more plentiful, 

• company ' more possible, and life more enlivened by ex- 
citement. (2) By the deterioration of the physique of 
those born in close rooms, brought up in narrow streets, 
and early made familiar with vice. It was noticed that 
among the crowds who applied for relief there were few 
who seemed healthy or were strongly grown. In White- 
chapel the foreman of those employed in the streets 
reported that ' the majority had not the stamina to make 
even a good scavenger.' (3) By the disrepute into which 
saving is fallen. Partly because happiness (as the 
majority count happiness) seems to be beyond their 
reach, partly because the teaching of the example of the 
well-to-do is ' enjoy yourselves,' and partly because ' the 
saving man ' seems ' bad company, unsocial and selfish ' ; 
the fact remains that few take the trouble to save — only 
units out of the thousands of applicants had shown any 
signs of thrift. (4) By the growing animosity of the 
poor against the rich. Good-will among men is a source 
of prosperity as well as of peace. Those bound together 
consider one another's interests, and put the good of the 

* whole ' before the good of a class. Among large classes 
of the poor animosity is slowly taking the place of good- 
will, the rich are held to be of another nation, the theft 



40 PRACTICABLE SOCIALISM 

of a lady's diamonds is not always condemned as the 
theft of a poor man's money, and the gift of 70,000J. is 
looked on as ransom and perhaps an inadequate ransom. 
The bitter remarks sometimes heard by the almoners are 
signs of disunion, which will decrease the resources of all 
classes. The fault did not begin with the poor ; the rich 
sin, but the poor, made poorer and more angry, suffer 
the most. 

On account of these and other causes it may be ex- 
pected that poverty will be increased. The poorer 
quarters will become still poorer, the sight of squalor, 
misery, and hunger more painful, the cry of the poor 
more bitter. For their relief no adequate means are pro- 
posed. The last twenty years have been years of progress, 
but for lack of care and thought the means of relief for 
poverty remain unchanged. The only resource twenty 
years ago was a Mansion House Fund, and the only re- 
source available in this enlightened and wealthy year of our 
Lord is a similar gift thrown — not brought — from the 
West to the East. 

The paradise in which a few theorists lived, listening 
to the talk at social science congresses, has been rudely 
broken. Lord Mayors, merchant princes, prime minis- 
ters, and able editors have no better means for relief of 
distress than that long ago discredited by failure. One 
of the greatest dangers possible to the State has been 
growing in the midst, and the leaders have slumbered 
and slept. The resources of civilisation, which are said 
to be ample to suppress disorder and to evolve new 
policies, have not provided means by which the chief 
commandment may be obeyed, and love shown to the 
poor neighbour. 



BELIEF FUNDS AND THE POOR 41 

The outlook is gloomy enough, and the cure of the 
evil is not to be effected by a simple prescription. The 
cure must be worked by slow means which will take 
account of the whole nature of man, which will consider 
the future to be as important as the present, and which 
will win by waiting. 

Generally it is assumed that the chief change is that 
to be effected in the habits of the poor. • All sorts of 
missions and schemes exist for the working of this change. 
Perhaps it is more to the purpose that a change should 
be effected in the habits of the rich. Society has settled 
itself on a system which it never questions, and it is as- 
sumed to be absolutely within a man's right to live 
where he chooses and to get the most for his money. 

It is this practice of living in pleasant places which 
impoverishes the poor. It authorises, as it were, a lower 
standard of life for the neighbourhoods in which the poor 
are left ; it encourages a contempt for a home which is 
narrow ; it leaves large quarters of the town without 
the light which comes from knowledge, and large masses 
of the people without the friendship of those better 
taught than themselves. The precept that ' every one 
should live over his shop ' has a very direct bearing on 
life, and it is the absence of so many from their shops, 
be the shop ' the land ' or ' a factory/ which makes so 
many others poorer. 

Absenteeism - is an acknowledged cause of Irish 
troubles, and Mr. Goldwin Smith has pointed out that 
' the greatest evils of absenteeism are — first, that it 
withdraws from the community the upper class, who are 
the natural channels of civilising influences to the classes 
below them ; and, secondly, that it cuts off all personal 



42 PKACTICABLE SOCIALISM 

relations between the individual landlord and his tenant.' 
He farther adds that it was ' natural the gentry should 
avoid the sight of so much wretchedness . . . and be 
drawn to the pleasures of London or Dublin.' The result 
in Ireland was heartbreaking poverty which relief funds 
did not relieve, and there is no reason why in East 
London absenteeism should have other results. 

In the same way the unquestioned habit by which 
every one thinks himself justified in getting the most 
for his money tends to make poverty. In the com- 
petition which the habit, provokes many are trampled 
underfoot, and in the search after enjoyment wealth is 
wasted which would support thousands in comfort. 

The habits of the people are in the charge of the 
Church, so that by its ministers (conformist and non- 
conformist) God's Spirit may bend the most stubborn 
will. Those ministers have a great responsibility. God's 
Spirit has been imprisoned in phrases about the duty of 
contentment and the sin of drink; the stubborn will 
has been strengthened by the doctor's opinion as to the 
necessity of living apart from the worry of work, and 
by the teaching of a political economy which assumes 
that a man's might is a man's right. The ministers 
who would change the habits of the rich will have to 
preach the prophet's message about the duty of giving 
and the sin of luxury, and to denounce ways of business 
now pronounced to be respectable and Christian. Old 
teaching will have to be put in new language, giving 
shown to consist in sharing, and earning to be sacrifice. 
For some time it may be the glory of a preacher to empty 
rather than to fill his church as he reasons about the 
Judgment to come, when ' twopence a gross to the match- 



BELIEF FUNDS AND THE POOK 43 

makers will be laid alongside of the twenty-two per cent, 
to the shareholders,' and penny dinners for the poor com- 
pared with the sixteen courses for the rich — when the 
' seamy * side of wealth and pleasures will be exposed. 1 
For some time the ministers who would change habits 
may fail to attract congregations. It is not until they are 
able again to lift up the God whose presence is dimly 
felt, and whose nature is misunderstood, that they will 
succeed. In the knowledge of God is eternal life. When 
all know God as the Father who requires rich and podr to 
be perfect sharers in His gifts of virtue, forgiveness, and 
peace, then none will be satisfied until they are at one 
with Him, and His habit has become their habit. 

It may, however, be well here to suggest in a few 
words what may be done while habits remain the same 
by laws or systems for the relief of poverty. 

It would be wise (1) to promote the organisation of 
unskilled labour. The mass of applicants last winter 
belonged to this class, and in one report it is distinctly 
said that the greater number were ' born within the de- 
moralising influence of the intermittent and irregular 
employment given by the Dock Companies, and who 
have never been able to rise above their circumstances.' 
It is in evidence that the wages of these men do not 
exceed 12s. a week on an average in a year. If, by some 
encouragement, these men could be induced to form a 
union, and if by some pressure the Docks could be in- 
duced to employ a regular gang, much would be gained. 

1 Prices paid according to the Mansion House report are : Making of 
shirts, f rf. each ; making soldiers' leggings, 2s. a dozen ; making lawn- 
tennis aprons, elaborately frilled, b\d. a dozen to the sweater, the actual 
worker getting less. 



44 PRACTICABLE SOCIALISM 

The very organisation would be a lesson to these men in 
self-restraint and in fellowship. The substitution of 
regular hands at the Docks for those who now, by wait- 
ing and scrambling, get a daily ticket would give to a 
large number of men the help of settled employment 
and take away the dependence on chance, which makes 
many careless. Such a change might be met by a non 
possumus of the directors, but it is forgotten that to the 
present system a weightier non possumus would be urged 
if the labourers could speak as shareholders now speak. 
A possible loss of profit is not comparable to an actual 
loss of life, and the labourers do lose life and more than 
life as they scramble for a living that the dividend or 
salaries may be increased. 

(2) The helpers of the poor might be efficiently or- 
ganised. The ideal of co-operating charity has long 
hovered over the mischief and waste of competing charity. 
Up to the present, denominational jealousy, or the be- 
lief in crochets, or the self-will which ' dislikes com- 
mittees ' has prevented common work. If all who are 
serving the poor could meet and divide — meet to learn 
one another's object and divide each to do his own work 
— there would be a force applied which might remove 
mountains of difficulty. Abuse would be known, wise 
remedies would be suggested, and foolish remedies pre- 
vented. Indirect means would be brought to the support 
of direct, and those concerned to reform the land laws, 
to teach the ignorant, and beautify the ugly would be 
recognised as fellow-workers with those whose object is 
the abolition of poverty. Money would be amply given, 
and the high motives of faith and love applied to the 
reform of character. The ideal is in its fulness impos- 



RELIEF FUADS AND THE POOR 45 

sible until there be a really national Church, in which 
the denominations will each preach their truth, and in 
which ' the entire religious life of the nation will be ex- 
pressed.' Such a Church, extending into every corner 
of the land and drawing to itself all who love their neigh- 
bours, would realise the ideal of co-operative charity, 
and so order things that no one would be in sorrow 
whom comfort will relieve, and no one in pain whom 
help can succour. 

(3) Lastly, the qualification for a seat on a board of 
guardians might be removed and the position opened to 
working men. 1 The action of the poor-law has a very 
distinct effect on poverty, and intelligent experience is on 
the side of administration by rule rather than by senti- 
ment. In poor-law unions, where it is known that 
* indoors ' all that is necessary for life will be provided, 
but that ' outdoors ' nothing will be given, the poor feel 
they are under a rule which they can understand. They 
are able to calculate on what will happen in a way which 
is impossible when ' giving goes by favour or desert/ and 
they do not wait and suffer by trusting to a chance. 
Public opinion, however, does not support such adminis- 
tration, and as public opinion is largely now that of the 
working men, it is necessary that these men should be 
admitted on to boards of guardians, where by experience 
they would learn how impossible it is to adjust relief to 
desert, and how much less cruel is regular sternness than 
spasmodic kindness. A carefully and wisely adminis- 



1 It might be necessary at the same time to abolish ' the compounder,' 
so that the tenant of every tenement might himself pay the rates and 
feel their burden. 



46 PEACTICABLE SOCIALISM 

tered poor-law is the best weapon in hand for the troubles 
to come, and such is impossible without the sympathy of 
all classes. 

By some such means preparation may be made for deal- 
ing with poverty, but even these would not be sufficient 
and would not be in order at a moment of emergency. 

If next winter there be great distress, what, it may be 
asked, can possibly be done ? The chief strain must un- 
doubtedly be borne by the poor-law, and the poor-law must 
follow rules — hard-and-fast lines. The simplest rule is 
indoor relief for all applicants, and if for able-bodied men 
the relief take the form of work which is educational, its 
helpfulness will be obvious. The casual labourer, whose 
family is given necessary support on condition that he 
enters the House, may, during his residence, learn some- 
thing of whitewashing, woodwork, and baking, or, better 
yet, that habit of regularity which will do much to keep 
up the home which has been kept together for him. 

The poor-law can thus help during a time of pressure 
without any break in its established system. If more 
is necessary, perhaps the next best form of relief would 
be an extension of that adopted by the Whitechapel 
Committee of the Mansion House Fund. By co-opera- 
tion with other local authorities the guardians might 
offer more work at street sweeping, or cleaning — which 
in poor London is never adequately done — under such 
conditions of residence or providence as would prevent 
immigration, but would be free of the degrading associa- 
tions of the stone-yards. The staff at the disposal of the 
guardians would enable them to try the 'experiment more 
effectively than was possible when a voluntary committee 
without experience, time, or staff had to do everything. 



BELIEF FUNDS AND THE POOR 47 

By some such plans relief could be afforded to all who 
belong to what may be called the lowest class ; for the 
assistance of those who could be helped by tools, emigra- 
tion, or money, the great Friendly Societies, the Society 
for Belief of Distress, and the Charity Organisation 
Society might act in conjunction. These societies are 
unsectarian, are already organised, and may be developed 
in power and tenderness to any extent by the addition 
of members and visitors. 

These means and all means which are suggested seem 
sadly inadequate, and in their very setting forth provoke 
criticism. There are no effectual means but those which 
grow in a Christian society. The force which, without 
striving and crying, without even entering into collision 
with it, destroyed slavery will also destroy poverty. 
When rich men, knowing God, realise that life is giving, 
and when poor men, also knowing God, understand that 
being is better than having, then there will be none too 
rich to enter the kingdom of heaven, and none too poor 
to enjoy God's world. 

Samuel A. Barnett. 



48 PEACTICABLE SOCIALISM 



III. 

PASSIONLESS REFORMERS. 1 

The mention of the poor brings up to most people's 
minds scenes of suffering, want, and misery. The vast 
number of people who, while poor in money, are rich 
in life's good, who live quiet, thoughtful, dignified lives, 
are forgotten, and the word ' poor ' means to many 
the class which we may call degraded. But the first 
class is by far the largest, and the wide East End of 
London (which the indolent think of only as revolting) 
contains at a rough calculation, say, twenty of the 
worthy poor to one of the degraded poor. It is curious 
how widely spread is the reverse idea. Many times 
have I been asked if I am not ' afraid to walk in East 
London,' and an article on the People's Entertainment 
Society aroused, not unjustly, the anger of the East 
London people at the writer's descriptions of them and 
of her fears for her personal safety while standing in 
the Mile End Eoad! One lady, after a visit to St. 
George's-in-the-East and Stepney, expressed great as- 
tonishment to find' that the people lived in houses. 
She had expected that they abode, not exactly in tents, 
but in huts, old railway carriages, caravans, or squatted 

1 Reprinted, by permission, from the Fortnightly Review of August 1882. 



PASSIONLESS EEFOEMEES 49 

• 

against a wall. East Londoners will be glad to know 
that she went back a wiser and not a sadder woman, 
having learnt that riches are not necessary to refinement, 
that some of the noblest characters are developed under 
the enforced self-control of an income of a pound or 
thirty shillings a week, that love lived side by side with 
poverty without thought of exit by the window though 
poverty had trodden a beaten path through the door, and 
that books and ideas, though not plentiful enough to 
become toys, were read, loved, and lived with until they 
became part of the being of their possessors. 

But distinct from this class — among whom may be 
counted some of the noblest examples of life — there is 
the class of degraded poor. Here the want is not so much 
a want of money (some of the trades, such as hawking, 
flower-selling, shoe-blacking, occasionally bringing in as 
much as from ten to twenty shillings a day) as the want 
of the common virtues of ordinary life. In many of 
these poor, the mere intellectual conception of principle, 
as such, is absent ; they have no moral ideal ; spirituality 
to them is as little understood in idea as in word. Sin- 
ning (sensual low brutal sins) is the most common, the 
to-be-expected course. The standard has got reversed, 
and those who have turnings towards, and vague aspira- 
tions for, better things too often find it impossible to 
give these feelings practical expression in a society 
where wrong is upheld by public opinion ; where the only 
test of right is the avoidance of being ' nabbed ' by the 
police; and the highest law is that expressed by the 
magistrate. 

How can these people be raised to enjoy spiritual 
life? Too often the symptoms are mistaken for the 

E 



50 PBACTICABLE SOCIALISM 

disease. In times of illness, bad weather, or depression 
of their particular trade, their poverty is the one apparent 
fact about them, and tender-hearted people rush eagerly 
to relieve it. That poverty was but the natural result 
of their sinful, self-indulgent lives ; and by it they might 
have learnt great lessons. The hands of the charity- 
giver too often, in such cases, act as a screen between a 
man and his Almighty Teacher. The physical suffering 
which should have recalled to him his past carelessness 
or sin is thus made of no avail. Mistaken love ! gifts 
cannot raise these people. Better houses, provident 
clubs, savings banks, &c. are all useful and do necessary 
work in forming a good ground in which the seed can 
grow, but thought must be given lest such efforts leave 
the people in the condition of more comfortable animals. 
Materialism is already so strong a force in the world 
that those who look deeper than the material part of 
man should beware lest they accentuate what is, in 
whatever form it appears — whether in the low sensuality 
of the degraded ox the enervating luxury of the aesthete 
— a circumscribed, ungodly life. 

The stimulus of ' getting on ' is also used, but it is 
a dangerous influence, sapping ofttimes the one virtue 
which is. strong and beautiful in the lives of these people, 
their communistic love ; and if adopted by minds empty 
of principle may become a new source of wrong. ' Getting 
on ' regardless of the means is but another way of going 
back. 

Influences calling themselves religious are tried, and 
chiefly, all honour be to them, by the evangelicals who, 
filled with horror at what they hold to be the ultimate 
fate of such masses, go fearlessly and perseveringly among 



PASSIONLESS EEFOEMERS 51 

them, preaching earnestly, if not always rationally, their 
special tenets. Heaven, as a material place, they still 
paint in the poetic terms which represented to the Oriental 
mind the highest spiritual happiness, and is offered as a 
reward to men imbued with the materialistic spirit of the 
age, and living coarse and sensual lives. Hell, as a 
place of physical suffering, is so often threatened that 
it becomes to many people the most likely thing that 
they shall go there. The story is perfectly true of the 
clergyman who, preaching to one of these oft-threatened 
congregations, tried to show them that sin (according to 
his explanation removal from God) was hell, and that 
the awfulness of hell did not consist in being a place 
where the body would be uncomfortable, but in being a 
state from which all good and God were absent. Walk- 
ing behind some of his hearers afterwards, he overheard, 
' Parson says there be'ant no hell, Dick. Where be you 
and I to go then ? ' Imagine feeling homeless because 
there may be no hell ! 

But even if the talk of hell still, awakens some fear 
and dread, it is again only a material horror — it but 
exaggerates the importance of the body, and projects 
into an after-death sphere the selfish animal life already 
being led. This will not cultivate spirituality. No ! 
religion thus materialised is a dead-letter ; it will not 
feed the spiritual needs of the people. We have for- 
gotten the words of the Divine Teacher about casting 
pearls before the swine, and the swine have turned again 
and rent us. As an old Cornish coachman said the 
other day in answer to a question about the services 
of a church which we happened to be passing, * Ay, yes, 

E 2 



52 PEACTICABLE SOCIALISM 

there's a great advance in church activity, no doubt of 
that, but little in spirituality somehow. The people's 
souls have been preached to death.' 

The religionists have taught until the people know 
all and feel nothing; they have talked about religion 
till it palls in the hearer's ears. They have blasphemed 
by asking pity for our Lord's physical sufferings when 
His thoughts and being were at one with God ; when He 
was exulting (as only noble souls can faintly conceive of 
exultation) in His finished work. 

Keligion has been degraded by these teachers until 
it is difficult to gain the people's ears to hear it. I have 
often watched congregations who, keenly interested so 
long as personal narratives are told, books discussed, or 
allegories pictured, relax their attention so soon as re- 
ligion is reverted to, with an air which is told in every 
muscle of ' knowing all that.' The story once humor- 
ously told by the lamented Leonard Montefiore of his 
experience as a Sabbath-school teacher is a little straw 
showing withal the way of the stream. Feeling some- 
what at a loss as to what to teach, the class being a 
strange one, he thought he would be safe in telling them 
a Bible story ; so he began on Moses' history, painting, 
as only he could paint for children's minds, the conditions 
of the times, making Egypt, with its gorgeous palaces 
and age-defying temples, live again, showing the princess 
as a very fairy one, and letting them see through his 
well-cultivated mind the very age of Eameses. All went 
well, the children breathless with interest, until he came 
to the familiar incident of the little ark and the crying 
babe — ' Oh ! 'tis only Moses again ! ' cried one boy, and 
their interest vanished; they half felt they had been 



PASSIONLESS REFORMERS 53 

' taken in,' and for the remainder of the lesson they gave 
him a bad time. 

The experience of many a popular preacher would, if 
he confessed honestly, be much the same as Mr. Monte- 
fiore's. One body of evangelists, in order to attract 
the people, started a band which, playing loud, blatant 
marches or swinging hymn tunes, brought hundreds of 
people, who sat and listened with interest to the music. 
On its stopping and the preacher rising to speak, the 
people got up and poured out through the large open 
gate. The preacher paused, and on a sign the music 
recommenced and the audience sat down again. Three 
times was the effort made. No! though the preacher 
was advertised as the converted swindler or gipsy, or 
some such attractive title, it was of no avail. The people 
would not listen to the ' old, old story ' — ' Bless you, 
my children,' said he, at last, sitting down in despair, 
' but I wish you'd mend yer manners.' It was a larger 
rent than their manners which wanted mending. These 
people's lives are already too full of excitement. There 
is no rest nor repose in them. Dignity has given way 
to hurry. To attract them to religion, further excite- 
ment is often resorted to, and sensationalism with all 
its vulgarity is brought to play upon the buried soul 
which we are told we should ' possess in quietness.' 

I was once present at a religious meeting where the 
preacher narrated, with much gusto, accounts of sudden 
and unexpected deaths and the ultimate fate of the dead 
ones, making the ignorant audience feel fearful that their 
every breath might be their last. Finding that even this 
did not sufficiently stir the people, he pleaded that God 
in His mercy ' would shut the doors of hell — aye, even 



54 PBACTICABLE SOCIALISM 

with a bang ! ' — for a few moments until he had saved 
the souls before him. After the word ' bang ' he paused 
in an attitude of attention as if listening to hear the 
slamming doors. The excitement was intense; many 
weak-minded people went into hysterics and others has- 
tened to be converted and ' made safe ' while the hell- 
doors were shut. To such means have some religionists 
reverted to teach the people the Gospel ! 

No, alas ! the old channels are no longer available 
for the water of life ; without it the people are dead, 
live they ever so comfortably. A spiritual life is the 
true life; as men become spiritualised, as the moral 
ideal becomes the source of action, the old words and 
forms may regain meaning. Phrases now to them 
meaning nothing or only superstition will then express 
their very being ; but without a belief in the ideal they 
are but empty words, like 'the sounding brass or 
tinkling cymbal.' 

How can these degraded people be given these price- 
less gifts? The usual religious means have failed, {he un- 
usual must be tried ; we must deal with the people as 
individuals, being content to speak, not to the thou- 
sands, but to ones and twos; we must become the friend, 
the intimate of a few ; we must lead them up through 
the well-known paths of cleanliness, honesty, industry, 
until we attain the higher ground whence glimpses can 
be caught of the brighter land, the land of spiritual 
life. 

Hitherto the large number of the degraded people 
have appalled the philanthropist; they have been spoken 
of as the ' lapsed masses ' ; and efforts to reach them 
have not been considered successful unless the results 



PASSIONLESS KEFOKMERS 55 

can be counted by hundreds. But there is the higher 
authority for the individual teaching; He whom all 
men now delight to honour, whose life, words, and 
actions are held up for imitation ; He chose twelve only 
to especially influence; He spent long hours in conversa- 
tion with single persons; He thought no incident too 
trivial to inquire into, no petty quarrel beneath His in- 
terference. We must know and be known, love and be 
loved, by our less happy brother until he learn, through 
the friend whom he has seen, knowledge of God whom 
he has not seen. All this must be done, and not one stone 
of practical helpfulness left unturned, and 

God's passionless reformers, influences 
That purify and heal and are not seen, 

must be summoned also to give their aid. Among these 
are flowers, not given in bundles nor loose, but daintily 
arranged in bouquets, brought by the hand of the friend 
who will stop to carefully dispose them in the broken jug 
or cracked basin, so that they should lose none of their 
beauty as long as the close atmosphere allows them to live : 
flowers (without text-cards) left to speak their own mes- 
sage, allowed to tell the story of perfect work without 
speech or language ; all the better preachers because so 
lacking in self-consciousness. 

Not second among such reformers may be placed 
high-class music, both instrumental and vocal, given in 
schoolrooms, mission-rooms, and, if possible, in churches 
where the traditions speak of worship, where the atmo- 
sphere is prayerful, and where the arrangement of the 
seats suggests kneeling ; just the music without a form 
of service, nor necessarily an address, only a hymn sung 



56 PRACTICABLE SOCIALISM 

in unison and a blessing from the altar at the close. To 
hear oratorios— St. Paid, the Messiah, Elijah, Spohr's 
hast Judgment — I have seen crowds of the lowest class, 
some shoeless and bonnetless, and all having the ' savour 
of the great unwashed,' sit in church for two hours at 
a time quietly and reverently, the long lines of seated 
folk being now and then broken by a kneeling figure, 
driven to his knees by the glorious burst of sound which 
had awakened strange emotions; while the almost breath- 
less silence in the solos has been occasionally interrupted 
by a heart-drawn sigh. 

To trace the result is impossible and not advisable ; 
but who can doubt that in those moments, brief as they 
were, the curtain of the flesh was raised and the soul 
became visible, perhaps by the discovery startling its 
possessor into new aspirations ? 

One man came after such a service for help, not 
money help, but because he was a drunkard, saying if * I 
could hear music like that every night I should not need 
the drink.' It was but a feeble echo of St. Paul's words, 
' Who can deliver me from the body of this death ? ' 
a cry — a prayer — which given to music might be borne 
by the sweet messenger through heaven's gate to the 
very throne beyond. 

Then there are country visits ; quiet afternoons in 
the country, not ' treats ' where numbers bring wild ex- 
citement, and only the place, not the sort of amusement, 
is changed ; but where a few people spend an afternoon 
quietly in the country, perhaps entertained at tea by a 
kindly friend ; parties at which there is time to feel the 
quiet; where the moments are not so full of external 
and active interests that there is no opportunity to 



PASSIONLESS KEFOKMEKS 57 

'possess the soul'; parties at which there is a possibility 
of ' hush/ in which, helped by Nature's ritual, perfect 
in sound, scent, and colour, silent worship can go on. 

For people spending long years in the close courts 
and streets of ugly towns, the mere sight of nature 
is startling, and may awaken longings, to themselves 
strange, to others indescribable, but which are the 
stirrings of the life within. 

The stories of great lives, and of other religions, very 
simply told, as far as possible leaving out the foreign 
conditions which confuse the ignorant mind, are some- 
times helpful. It is generally considered wise to hide 
from children and untutored people the knowledge of other 
religions, for fear it should awaken doubts concerning 
their own ; but in those cases where their own is so very 
negative, it is often helpful to learn of faiths held by the 
large masses of mankind. To hear that the great funda- 
mental ideas of all worships are similar would perhaps 
suggest to the hearer that there might be more in it than 
'just parson stuff' and lead him to inquire further; or, 
if it did not do this, it would be some gain to remove the 
ignorance which, more than familiarity, breeds contempt 
of the despised foreigner. 

Once, after a talk about Egypt and its old religion, 
the Osiris worship, the beautiful story of the virgin Isis, 
and her son Horus, who was slain by Set, the King of 
Evil, and rose again from the bosom of the Nile, I 
heard it said, ' They thought the same then, did they ? 
only called them different names.' The largeness of 
the idea caught the hearer ; its universality bore testi- 
mony to its truth. Would it not be helpful if our 
religious teachers, instead of spending their precious 



58 PEACTICABLE SOCIALISM 

time denouncing the errors of other religions, would 
take the truths running through the great stories com- 
mon to them all, and in an historical attitude of mind 
show the growth of thought, the development of spiritu- 
ality till his hearers are brought face to face with the 
Founder of our religion, who set the noblest example ; 
taught the purest doctrine; lived the highest spiritual 
life ; was in Himself, to use the Bible words, ' the way, 
the truth, and the life ' ? 

Again, to be quiet, to be alone are among influences 
that purify. Every one when abroad has, I suppose, felt 
the privilege of being able to go into the churches when- 
ever they wished. In our great towns the privilege is 
equally needed, and, where the poor live, doubly so. 
When one room has to be shared by the whole family, 
sometimes including a lodger, there can be no quiet, and 
loneliness is impossible. Some of the clergy are recog- 
nising this want, and open their churches at other than 
service times, but the practice is still rare. A notice 
outside our church tells how those may enter who ' wish 
to think or pray in quietness.' About ten a day use the 
permission, some of them kneeling shyly in the side 
aisle, as if their attitude were unwonted and caused 
shame ; others sitting quietly for a long time, as if weary 
of the grind and noise outside ; while sometimes men 
come to make their mid-day prayer. Here again is a 
means with invisible results; but quiet and loneliness 
are possessions to which every one has a right, without 
which it is difficult, almost impossible, to 'commune 
with God/ and the gift of which is still to be given to 
the poor. 

Then there is the beauty of Art, now almost entirely 



PASSIONLESS BEFOHMERS 59 

absent from the dwellings of the poor, and yet by them 
so felt as a pleasure ; the beauty of form and colour, 
which it is possible to show in schoolroom and church 
decoration; the beauty of light and brightness, the 
beauty of growth to be seen in gardens and churchyards. 
Outside our church are planted two Virginia creepers ; 
poor things they are, hardly to be recognised by their 
relations in kindlier soil. But once, in a third-class 
carriage, I was surprised to hear the church described as 
the one ' where the jennies growed.' 

It is easier now (thanks to the Kyrle Society and 
Miss Harrison's generous gifts of work) to make school 
and mission rooms pretty. A beautiful workroom is a 
very strong, though invisible, influence. One girl, who 
had to leave our school on account of moving from the 
neighbourhood, said quite naturally, among her regrets 
at leaving and her description of the new school, * It is 
so ugly it makes one not care.' 

The pictures in a schoolroom should be various, and, 
if possible, often changed. Pictures of action or of his- 
torical incidents are the most generally appreciated, but 
pictures of flowers, fairy tales, landscapes, and sea are 
suggestive. 

Picture galleries have hitherto been thought of chiefly 
as pleasure places for the educated, or as schools for the 
student. They can become mission-halls for the de- 
graded. It is easy to arrange visits with a few people 
to the National Gallery, to the Kensington or Bethnal 
Green Museums ; it is not an unpleasant afternoon's 
work to guide little groups of people, just pointing out 
this beautiful picture, or putting in a few words to ex- 
plain this or that historical allusion. I once took a girl 



60 PEACTICABLE SOCIALISM 

— a merry lassie, light-hearted, fond of pleasure, but in 
danger of taking it at the expense of her character — to 
the National Gallery. The little picture of Kaphael's, 
where the women acting as the angels stand over the 
sleeping knight, offering him the protecting shield, 
opened to her a new truth. Here was a fresh possible 
relation between man and woman, not the one of rough 
jokes and doubtful fun, but a new connection not to be 
despised, either, where the province of the woman was 
to keep the man safe ; a large lesson taught by dumb 
lips and dead hands. 

When Sir Eichard Wallace lent his pictures to the 
Bethnal Green Museum, he not only brightened the eyes 
of many used only to the drear monotony of East London, 
but he taught one poor wretched woman with a whining 
baby hanging on her thin breast a large lesson. Dirt 
on child and mother showed her condition, and was a 
dreary contrast to the Madonna with lovely crowing baby 
before whom the little group paused. 'Ah, yer could 
easy enough " mother " such a baby as that now,' was her 
apologetic remark, showing that the picture had conveyed 
the rebuke, and that the reverence born of faith in the 
painter's heart had not yet finished bearing fruit. 

It is but feebly that I have tried to show how such means 
could be used to teach spirituality to the lowest classes. 
It is not necessary to speak of school-lessons, lending 
libraries, mothers' meetings, night-schools, temperance 
societies, and clubs ; agencies for the good of the people 
which are at work in every well-organised parish ; neither 
has mention been made of the communicants' meetings, 
prayer assemblies, church services, which are food to feed 
and build up many of those who already recognise their 



PASSIONLESS REFORMERS 61 

true life, and strive bravely, amid adverse circumstances, 
to live it. We can all work at these in gladness and 
thanksgiving. They are not so hard to persevere with, 
for some result attends them. In meetings and classes 
there is encouragement in the regularity and the appre- 
ciation of the attendants. In services and prayer-meet- 
ings there is the knowledge that they help and strengthen 
the faint-hearted ; but in the indirect means of helping 
the degraded there is little encouragement, for there can 
be no results. The highest work is often apparently 
resultless, bringing no personal thanks, no world's 
applause ; a failure, worthless labour, if judged by the 
world's standard of work ; a success, worth doing, if it 
open to a few, whom the usual means have failed to reach, 
the great secret of true being, their spiritual life ; a 
buried life, buried but not dead. 

Henrietta 0. Barnett. 



62 PEACTICABLE SOCIALISM 



IV. 

TOWN COUNCILS AND SOCIAL REFORM. 1 

Mr. Bright has stated that in Glasgow 41,000 families 
occupy single rooms. The statement caused no surprise 
to those familiar with the poor quarters of our great 
towns ; their surprise has been that the statement should 
cause surprise in any section of the community. It is, 
indeed, surprising that people should think so little about 
what they daily see, and should go on talking as if 20s. 
or 30s. a week were enough to satisfy the needs of a 
family's life, and should be surprised that many persons 
still occupy one room, endure hardship and die, killed by 
the struggle to exist. It is surprising that reflection on 
such subjects is not more common because, when facts 
are stated, no defence is made for the present condition 
of the people. 

Alongside of the growth of wealth during this age 
there has been growth of the belief in the powers of human 
nature, of the belief that in all men, independent of rank 
and birth, there exist great powers of being. ' Nothing 
can breed such awe and fear as fall upon us when we 
look into our minds, into the mind of man/ expresses 
the experience of many who do not use the poet's words. 

1 Reprinted, by permission, from the Nineteenth Century of No- 
vember 1883. 



TOWN COUNCILS AND SOCIAL EEFOEM 63 

Those who are conscious of what men may be and do 
cannot be satisfied while the majority of Englishmen 
live, in the midst of wealthy England, stinted and joyless 
lives because they are poor. 

When facts, therefore, such as that referred to by 
Mr. Bright are stated, no defence is made ; and such 
facts are common. Here are some : — (1) The death-rate 
among the children of the poor is double that among the 
children of the rich. Born in some small room, which 
serves as the sleeping and living room of the family ; 
hushed to sleep by discordant noises from neighbouring 
factories, refreshed by air laden with smoke and evil 
odours, forced to find their play in the streets ; without 
country holiday or adequate medical skill, without suf- 
ficient air, space, or water, the children die, and the 
mothers among the poor are always weeping for their 
children and cannot be comforted. (2) The occupants 
of the prisons are mostly of one class — the poor. The 
fact for its explanation needs no assumption that ' the 
poor in a lump are bad ' ; it is the natural result of their 
condition. It is because children are ill developed or 
unhealthily developed by life in the streets that they be- 
come idlers, sharpers, or thieves. It is because families 
are crowded together that quarrels begin and end in fights. 
It is because they have not the means to hide their vices 
under respectable forms that the poor go to prison and 
not the rich. (3) The lives of the people are joyless. 
The slaves of toil, worn by anxiety lest the slavery should 
end, they have not leisure nor calm for thought ; they 
cannot therefore be happy, living in the thought of other 
times, as those are happy who, in reading or travel, have 
gathered memories to be the bliss of solitude, or as those 



64 PRACTICABLE SOCIALISM 

who, ' by discerning intellect,' have found the best to be 
* the simple product of the common day.' When work 
ceases, the one resource is excitement ; and thus their 
lives are joyless. Anxiety consumes their powers in 
pleasure as in work, the faces of the women lose their 
beauty, and a woman of thirty looks old. 

These are facts patent to those who know our great 
towns — the facts of life, not among a few of their 
degraded inhabitants, but facts of the life of the majority 
of the people. Let any one who does not know how his 
neighbours live set himself the following sum. Given 
20s. or 40s. a week wages, how to keep e, family, pay rent 
of 2s. 6d. a week for each room, and lay up an adequate 
amount for times of bad trade, sickness, and old age. As 
the sum is worked out, as it is seen how one after another 
the things which seem to make life worth living have to 
be given up, and as it is seen how many ' necessaries ' 
are impossible, how many of the poor must put up with 
a diet more scanty than that allowed to paupers, how all 
must go without the leisure and the knowledge which 
transmute existence into life — faith will be shaken in 
many theories of social reform. 

Teetotal advocates will preach in vain that drunken- 
ness is the root of all evil, and that a nation of abstainers 
will be either a healthy, a happy, or a thoughtful nation. 
Thrift will be seen to be powerless to do more than to 
create a smug and transient respectability, and even 
those who are ' converted ' will not claim to be raised by 
their faith out of the reach of early death and poverty 
into a life which belongs to their nature as members in 
the human family. 

Theories of reform which do not touch the conditions 



TOWN COUNCILS AND SOCIAL EEFORM 65 

in which the people live, which do not make possible for 
them fuller lives in happier circumstances, are not satis- 
factory. The conversion of sinners — at any rate while 
the sinners are sought chiefly among the poor — the emi- 
gration of children, the spread of thrift and temperance 
among the workpeople, will still leave families occupying 
single rooms and the sons of men the joyless slaves of 
work ; a state of society for which no defence can be 
made. 

It is only a larger share of wealth which can increase 
comfort and relieve men from the pressure brought on 
them by the close atmosphere of great towns ; which can, 
in a word, give to all the results of thought and open to 
all the life which is possible. If it be that the return for 
fair land laid waste by mines and engines is wider 
knowledge of men and things, it is only the rich who now 
enjoy this return and it is only wealth which can make 
it common. And since any distribution of wealth in the 
shape of money relief would be fatal to the independence 
of the people, the one satisfactory method of social reform 
is that which tends to make more common the good 
things which wealth has gained for the few. The national- 
isation of luxury must be the object of social reformers. 

The presence of wealth is so obvious that the attempts 
to distribute its benefits both by individuals and by 
societies have been many. ' Individuals have given their 
money and their time ; their failure is notorious, and 
societies have been formed to direct their efforts. The 
failure of these societies is not equally notorious, but 
few thinkers retain the hope that societies will reform 
Society and make the conditions of living such that 
people will be able to grow in wisdom and in stature to 



66 PEACTICABLE SOCIALISM 

the full height of their manhood. If it were a sight 
to make men and angels weep to see one rich man 
struggling with the poverty of a street, making himself 
poor only to make others discontented paupers, it is 
as sad a sight to see societies hopelessly beaten and 
hardened into machines with no * reach beyond their 
grasp.' The deadness of these societies or their ill- 
directed efforts has roused in the shape of Charity 
Organisation workers a most striking missionary enter- 
prise. The history of the movement as a mission has yet 
to be written ; the names of its martyrs stand in the list 
of the unknown good; but the most earnest member of a 
Charity Organisation Society cannot hope that organised 
almsgiving will be powerful so to alter conditions as to 
make the life of the poor a life worth living. 

Societies which absorb much wealth, and which relieve 
their subscribers of their responsibility, are failing ; it 
remains only to adopt the principle of the Education Act, 
of the Poor Law, and of other socialistic legislation, and 
call on Society to do what societies fail to do. There is 
much which may be urged in favour of such a course. 
It is only Society, or, to use the title by which Society 
expresses itself in towns, it is only Town Councils, which 
can cover all the ground and see that each locality gets 
equal treatment. It is by common action that a healthy 
spirit becomes common, and the tone of public opinion 
may be more healthy when the Town Council engages 
in good-doing than when good-doing is the monopoly 
of individuals or of societies. If nations have been 
ennobled by wars undertaken against an enemy, towns 
may be ennobled by work undertaken against the evils 
of poverty. 



TOWN COUNCILS AND SOCIAL REFORM 67 

Through the centuries the sense of the duties of 
Society has been growing. Some earnest men may regret 
the limit placed on individual action and the failure of 
societies, but the change they regret is more apparent 
than real. The Town Councils are, indeed, the modern 
representatives of the Church and of other societies, 
through which in older times individuals expressed their 
hope and work, and to these bodies falls the duty of 
effecting that social reform which will help the poor to 
grow to the stature of the life of men. 

The problem before them is one much more of ways 
than of means. If poverty is depressing the lives of the 
people, the wealth by which it may be relieved is super- 
abundant. On the one side, there is disease for the want 
of food and doctors ; on the other side there is disease 
because of food and doctors. In one part of the town 
the women cease to charm for want of finery ; in the other 
they cease to please from excess of finery. It is for 
want of money that the streets in which the poor live 
are close, ill-swept, and ill-lighted ; that the ' East Ends ' 
of towns have no grand meeting-rooms and no beauty. 
It is through superfluity of money that the entertain- 
ments of the rich are made tiresome with music, and their 
picture galleries made ugly with uninteresting portraits. 
There is no want of means for making better the condi- 
tion of the people; and there has ever been sufficient 
good-will to use the means when the way has been clear. 
To discover the way is the problem of the times. 

Some way must be found which, without pauperising, 
without affecting the spirit of energy and independence, 
shall give to the inhabitants of our great towns the 
surroundings which will increase joy and develop life. 



68 PBACTICABLE SOCIALISM 

The first need is better dwellings. While the people 
live without adequate air, space, or light in houses where 
the arrangements are such that privacy is impossible, it 
is hopeless to expect that they will enjoy the best things. 
The need has been recognised, and, happily without 
going to Parliament, Town Councils may do much to 
meet the need. It is in their power to enforce sanitary 
improvements, to make every house healthy and clean, 
and to provide common rooms which will serve as 
libraries or drawing-rooms. If it is not in their power 
to reduce rents, it is possible for them to pull down 
unfit buildings, and sell the ground to builders at a low 
price, on condition that such builders shall provide 
extra appliances for the health and pleasure of the 
people. 

Insanitary conditions and high rents are tfye points 
to which consideration must be directed. Builders to- 
day build houses on the fiction that each house will be 
occupied by one family. The fact that two or three 
families will at once take possession is kept out of sight, 
while the parlour, drawing-room, and single set of offices 
are finished off to suit the requirements of an English 
home. The fiction ends in the creation of evils on 
which medical officers write reports, and of other evils 
which, like Medusa's head, are best seen by the shadow 
they cast on Society. 

The insanitary conditions constitute one difficulty 
connected with the dwellings of the poor ; the rent for 
adequate accommodation which absorbs one quarter of 
an irregular income constitutes another. To cure the 
insanitary conditions ample power exists ; to even sug- 
gest a means for lowering rents is not so easy. Perhaps 



TOWN COUNCILS AND SOCIAL REFOKM 69 

it might be possible for the community to sell the 
ground it acquires at some low price, on condition that 
the rents of the newly built houses should never exceed 
a certain rate, and that the occupier should always have 
the right of purchase. Such a condition is not, however, 
at present legal, and is of doubtful expediency. It is now 
possible for Town Councils to acquire land under the 
Artisans' Dwellings Act, and to sell it cheaply on con- 
dition that the rooms are of a certain size and provided 
with certain appliances ; that special arrangements are 
made for washing and cleaning, and that a common 
room is at the disposal of a certain number of families. 

The improvement cannot be made without what is 
called a loss — that is to say, the Town Councils cannot 
sell land for the building of fit dwellings at the same 
price for which the land had been acquired. Money 
will in one sense be lost ; and this phrase has such 
power that, though the need is recognised, the Act by 
which the need could be met has in most towns remained 
a dead letter. In Liverpool, where, according to official 
reports, the state of the dwellings is productive of fever 
and destructive of common decency, the Act has never 
been applied. In Manchester, where it is acknowledged 
to be the object of the Town Council to protect the 
health of the people, it is stated in the last report that 
the Act involves too great an outlay to be workable. 
The London Metropolitan Board of Works, which spends 
its millions wisely and unwisely, has striven to show 
that the application of the Act would lay too great a 
burden on the ratepayers. It is impossible, it is said, to 
house the poor at such a cost. It would not seem 
impossible if it were recognised that to spend money in 



70 PRACTICABLE SOCIALISM 

housing the poor is a way of making the wealth of the 
town serve the needs of the town. It would not seem 
impossible if Town Councils recognised that on them 
has come the care of the people, and that money is not 
lost which is returned in longer and better life. 

Other needs exist, hardly second to that of better 
dwellings, and these it is in the power of local authori- 
ties to meet, in a way of which few reformers seem to be 
aware. The Town Councils may provide means of re- 
creation and instruction — libraries, playgrounds, and 
public baths. School Boards may provide, not only 
elementary instruction, but give a character to educa- 
tion, and use their buildings as centres for the meetings, 
classes, and recreation of the old scholars. Boards of 
Guardians may make their relief, not only a means of 
meeting destitution, but a means of educating the inde- 
pendence of the strong and of comforting the sorrows of 
the weak. We can imagine these boards, the councils of 
the town, endowed with greater powers ; but with those 
they already possess they could change the social con- 
ditions and remove abuses for which Englishmen make 
no defence. 

Wise Town Councils, conscious of the mission they 
have inherited, could destroy every court and crowded 
alley and put in their places healthy dwellings; they 
could make water so cheap and bathing-places so com- 
mon that cleanliness should no longer be a hard virtue ; 
they could open playgrounds, and take away from a 
city the reproach of its gutter-children; they could 
provide gardens, libraries, and conversation-rooms, and 
make the pleasures of intercourse a delight to the poor, 
as it is a delight to the rich ; they could open picture 



TOWN COUNCILS AND SOCIAL KEFOBM 71 

galleries and concerts, and give to all that pleasure 
which comes as surely from a common as from a private 
possession ; they could light and clean the streets of the 
poor quarters ; they could stamp out disease, and by en- 
forcing regulations against smoke and all uncleanness 
limit the destructiveness of trade and lengthen the span 
of life; they could empty the streets of the boys and 
girls, too big for the narrow homes, too small for the 
clubs and public-houses, by opening for them playrooms 
and gymnasia ; they could help the strong and hopeful 
to emigrate ; they could give medicine to heal the sick, 
money to the old and poor, a training for the neglected, 
and a home for the friendless. 

With this power in the hands of Town Councils, and 
with our great towns in such a state that a fact as to 
their condition shocks the nation, there is no need to 
wait for parliamentary action. The course on which the 
authorities are asked to enter is no untried one. 

There are local bodies which have applied the Artisans' 
Dwellings Act and cleared away houses or hovels, of which 
the medical officers' descriptions are not fit for repetition 
in polite society. There are those who have built, and 
more who are ready to build, houses which shall at 
any rate give the people healthy surroundings, possi- 
bilities of home life and of common pleasures, even when 
a family can afford only a single room. And, although 
the London School Board's buildings and playgrounds 
are occupied only during a few hours in each week, there 
are schools which are used for meetings, for classes in 
higher education, and for Art Exhibitions, and there are 
playgrounds which are open all day and every day to all 
comers. The way in which Guardians have in some 



72 PRACTICABLE SOCIALISM 

unions made the system of relief in the highest sense 
educational is now an old tale. It has been shown that 
out-relief, with its demoralising results, may be abolished ; 
it is being shown that a workhouse with trade masters 
and ' mental instructors ' may be a reformatory ; and it 
is not beyond the hope of some Boards that a system of 
medical relief may be developed adequate to the needs of 
the people. Public bodies here and there are showing 
what it is in their power to do, but at present their 
efforts hardly make any mark; they must become 
general. 

The first practical work is to rouse the Town Councils 
to the sense of their powers ; to make them feel that their 
reason of being is not political but social, that their duty 
is not to protect the pockets of the rich, but to save the 
people. It is for reformers in every town to direct all 
their force on the Town Councils, to turn aside to no 
scheme, and to start no new society, but to urge, in 
season and out of season, that the care of the people is 
the care of the community, and not of any philanthropic 
section — is, indeed, the care of Society, and not of so- 
cieties. ' The People, not Politics,' should be their cry; 
and they should see that the power is in the hands of 
men, irrespective of party or of class, who care for the 
people. This is the first practical work, one in which all 
can join, whether he serves as elector or elected. It may 
be that efficient administration will show that without 
an increase of rating a sufficient fund may be found to 
do all that needs doing ; but, if this is not the case, the 
social interest which is aroused will act on Parliament, 
and that body will be diverted from its party politics to 
consider how, by some change in taxation, by progressive 



TOWN COUNCILS AND SOCIAL REFORM 73 

rating, by a land-tax, or by some other means, the money 
can be raised to do what must be done. 

The means, I repeat, is a matter for the future ; the 
battle is to be won at the municipal elections ; it is there 
the cry ' The People, not Politics ' must be raised, and it 
is the councils of the town which can work the social 
reform. If it be urged that when Town Councils do for 
social reform all which can be done, the condition will 
still be unsatisfactory, I agree. Wealth cannot supply 
the needs of life, and many who have all that wealth 
can give are still without the life which is possible to 
men. The town in which houses shall be good, health 
general, and recreation possible, may be but a whited 
sepulchre. No social reform will be adequate which 
does not touch social relations, bind classes by friend- 
ship, and pass, through the medium of friendship, the 
spirit which inspires righteousness and devotion. 

If, therefore, the first practical work of reformers 
be to rouse Town Councils, their second is to associate 
volunteers who will work with the official bodies. We 
may here regret the absence of a truly National Church. 
If in every parish Church Boards existed representative 
of every religious opinion and expressive of every form 
of philanthrophy, they would be the centres round which 
such volunteers would gather and prove themselves to be 
an agency ready to their hand. While we hope for such 
boards there is no need to wait to act. 

As a rule, it may be laid down that the voluntary work 
is most effective when it is in connection with official 
work. The connection gives a backbone, a dignity to 
work, which has lost something in the hands of Sunday- 
school teachers and district visitors. In every town 



74 PEACTICABLE SOCIALISM 

volunteers in connection with official work are wanted. 
It is doubtful, indeed, if the tenements occupied by the 
least instructed classes could be kept in order, or the 
people made to live up to their better surroundings, if 
the rent collecting were not put in the hands of volun- 
teers with the time to make friends and the will to have 
patience with the tenants. At any rate, wherever official 
work is done there will be something for volunteers to 
supply. 

Guardians want those who will consider the poor ; 
men who will visit the workhouse to rouse those too idle 
or too depressed to work, and to find help for those who 
by sickness or ill-chance have lost their footing in the 
rush for living. They want those who, knowing what 
wages can do and cannot do, will serve on relief com- 
mittees, will see the poor in their distress, and, giving 
or not giving, will try to make them understand that 
care does not cease. They want also women who will 
be friends to the sick and, more than that, befriend the 
girls who drift wretched to the workhouse, or go out 
lonely from the pauper schools. School Boards want 
those who, visiting the schools, will seek out the children 
who are fit for country holidays, visit the homes, and do 
something to follow up the education between the years 
of thirteen and twenty-one. 

Wherever there is an institution, a reading-room, a 
club, or a playground there is work for volunteers. It 
may not be that the volunteers will seem to do much ; 
they will be certain to do something. They will be cer- 
tain to make links between the classes, and lead both 
rich and poor to give up habits which keep them apart. 
They will be certain to add strength to the public 



TOWN COUNCILS AND SOCIAL KEFOEM 75 

opinion, which by the bye will relieve those whose 
higher life is destroyed by excess or by want. They will 
be certain to do something, and if they carry into their 
work a spirit of devotion, a faith in the high calling of 
the human race, and a love for its weakest members, 
there is no limit which can be placed on what they will 
do. They will put into the sound body the sound mind ; 
into the well-ordered town citizens who ' feel deep, think 
clear, and bear fruit well.' 

Samuel A. Barnbtt. 



76 PRACTICABLE SOCIALISM 



V. 
'AT HOME 9 TO THE POOR. 1 

Few people realise the extreme dulness of the lives of 
the poor. Cut off from the many interests which educa- 
tion or the possession of money gives, they have little 
left but the 'trivial round, the common task,' which 
indeed furnishes them with ' room to deny themselves,' 
but is hardly, in their case at least, ' the road to bring 
them daily nearer God.' 

' People must be amuthed/ is the caricatured state- 
ment of a true human need, and the terrible and often 
deplored attraction of the public-house has its root not 
so much in the love of strong drink as in the want of 
interest and desire for amusement felt by the lower 
classes of the poor. This is especially true with regard 
to the women and to those men who cannot read. Unable 
to comprehend the ever-living interest of watching public 
affairs, prevented by ignorance from following, even in 
outline, the actions of the nations, they are thrown back 
on the affairs of their neighbours, and centre all their 
interest in the sayings and doings of quarrelsome Mr. 
Jones or much-abused Mrs. Smith. 

It is difficult for those of us to whom the world seems 
almost too full of interests to realise the deadening dul- 

1 Reprinted, by permission, from the Cornhdll Magazine of May 1881. 



'AT HOME' TO THE POOR 77 

ness of some of these lives. Let us imagine, for an 
instant, all knowledge of history, geography, art, science, 
and language blotted out ; all interests in politics, 
social movements, and discoveries obliterated; no society 
pleasures to anticipate ; no trials of skill nor tests of 
proficiency in work or play to look forward to ; no money 
at command to enable us to plan some pleasure for a 
friend or dependent ; no books always at hand, the old 
friends waiting silently till their acquaintance is renewed, 
the new ones standing ready to be learnt and loved; 
no opportunities of getting change of scene and idea ; no 
memories laden with pleasures of travel ; no objects of 
real beauty to look at. What would our lives become ? 
And yet this is a true picture of the lives of thousands 
of the poorer classes, whose time is passed in hard, 
monotonous work, or occupied in the petty cares of 
many children, and in satisfying the sordid wants of the 
body. In some cases precarious labour adds the element 
of uncertainty to the other troubles, an element which, 
by the fact of its bringing some interest, is enjoyed by 
the men, but which adds tenfold to the many cares of 
the housewife. 

It is not easy to see how the poor themselves can get 
out of this atmosphere of dulness. They can hardly 
give parties, even if the cost of entertaining were not a 
sufficient barrier ; the extreme smallness of the rooms 
entirely prevents social intercourse, not to mention the 
hindrance caused by the necessity for putting the children 
to bed in the course of the evening, and by all the many 
discomforts consequent on the one room being bedroom, 
parlour, kitchen, and scullery. But even supposing 
there are two rooms, or few children, the difficulties of 



78 PEACTICABLE SOCIALISM 

entertaining are not yet over. With minds so barren, 
conversation can hardly be the source of much amuse- 
ment, and music and dancing are almost impossible with 
no instrument to help and no space where even the little 
feet can patter. 

But it is possible for the ignorant as well as the cul- 
tured to enjoy Nature. And it is often a subject of 
wonder why the poor living in such close streets or 
alleys, surrounded with such unlovely objects, do not 
take more trouble to get out into the country or enjoy 
the parks. ' Only sixpence, you say,' said a hard-work- 
ing pale body to me one day when I was urging her to 
go on one of her enforced idle afternoons to get air and 
see some refreshing beauty at Hampstead. * Well, yer 
see, I could hardly go without the three children, and 
that's Is. Qd. ; besides they'd be a deal hungrier when 
they came home than perhaps I could manage for.' 

What could be said to the last argument? Just 
fancy having to consider, otherwise than pleasurably, 
the increased appetite of one of our young ones fresh 
from a day by the sea or in the country ? 

But, apart from the money question, the desire to go 
into the country after a time wears off, even among those 
who have before lived in pure air and among country 
sights and scenes ; people get used to their dull, sordid 
surroundings ; the memory of fairer sights grows dim, 
and the imagination is not strong enough to conjure 
them up again. 

* Shure, I ain't been in the country this fifteen year,' 
an old woman once startled me by saying at a country 
party ; ' and if it hadn't been for your note 'ere it would 
ha' been another fifteen year afore I'd ha' seen it.' 



'AT HOME' TO THE POOE 79 

And she was not so poor, this old lady ; 7s. a week, 
perhaps, and 2s. 6d. to pay for rent. It was not her 
poverty which prevented her seeing the fifteen fair 
springs which had passed since she came from the 
Green Isle. No ! it was just the want of power to make 
the effort — a loss to her far more serious than the loss 
of the sight of the country. As the late James Hinton 
used to say, * The worst thing is to be in hell and not 
know it is hell ' ; perhaps the best thing one can do for 
another is to give him the glimpse of heaven, which, 
letting in the light, shows the blackness of hell. 

' Don't you think green is God's favourite colour ? ' 
asked an old lady, the thought being suggested as we 
stood together in a forest of soft green. ' Well, I can't 
say,' was the answer; 'look at the sky ; how blue that is.' 
' Yes, but that isn't always blue, and the earth is 'most 
always green.' 

Does it not seem a pity that this old poet soul, so 
fit to teach God's lessons, should live all through the 
summer days in one room, shared by four other people, 
seeing only the mud colours of London, which certainly 
are not God's favourite colours. It was this same old 
lady who said on receiving her first invitation, ' All the 
years I've lived in London I was never asked to go into 
the country before you asked me.' 

But the want of pleasure and change is no newly dis- 
covered need of the poor. School-treats and excursions 
and bean-feasts have been organised and carried out 
almost since Sunday-schools have existed and congrega- 
tions had a corporate life. Every summer sees the 
columns of the newspapers used to ask for money to 
give 900, 1,000, 2,000 children ' one day in the country,' 



80 PKACTICABLE SOCIALISM 

and when the money is obtained and the day arrives, the 
children are packed into vans or a special train and 
turned into the woods or fields to enjoy themselves (and 
tease the frogs) until tea, buns, and hymns bring the 
' 'appy day ' to an end. Good days these, full of pleasure 
and health-giving exercise, but perhaps mixed with too 
large an element of excitement to teach the children to 
enjoy the country for its own sake, to enable them to learn 
in Dame Nature's lap * that we can feed this mind of ours 
in a wise passiveness.' 

Neither have the clergy overlooked this need as exist- 
ing among their grown people, and most of those work- 
ing in poor neighbourhoods organise an annual ' Treat,' 
each person paying, say, Is., to be met by the 6d. from 
the Pastor's Fund. These treats sometimes assume the 
enormous proportions of 2,000 or 3,000 persons. All 
carry their mid-day meal to be eaten when and how they 
like. The assembling for tea and a few speeches by the 
rector and those in authority are the only means taken 
to bring the people together and to introduce the sense 
of host and guest. And with the memory of the Is. paid, 
this sense is very difficult either to arouse or maintain. 
But, good as in many ways these treats are, they do not 
do all they might. They do not introduce fresh experi- 
ences, an acquaintance with other lives, the interest of 
new knowledge. 

We receive but what we give, 

And in our life alone does nature live, 

as Coleridge puts it ; and such sadly empty minds want 
the interpretation of the friendly eye to make them see 
what they went out * for to see.' 

Struck with these ideas, we determined to try another 



'AT HOME' TO THE POOR 81 

method of entertaining our neighbours ; and believing 
that they had the same need of social intercourse as that 
felt by the rich, and taking for granted that the kind of 
country entertainment most prevalent among the rich 
was that most enjoyed, we based our parties on the 
same foundation, remembering always that the minds of 
the poor being emptier, more active entertainment was 
needed, and that the party to which we invited them was 
perhaps the one day's outing in the whole year, the one 
glimpse that they had (apart from divorce suits) into the 
lives and habits of the richer classes. 

On talking over our plan with friends who, living in 
the suburbs of London, had the necessary garden, it was 
not long before we received kindly invitations to take 
thirty, forty, fifty, of our neighbours to spend the after- 
noon in the country. The day and hour fixed, it was left 
with us to decide which guests should be invited, and to 
pass on the invitation. Sometimes our hosts particularly 
wish to entertain children as well as grown people ; and if 
so, we include the children in the invitation ; but on the 
whole, experience has taught that those parties are most 
thoroughly enjoyed from which the children are omitted. 
This will not be misunderstood when it is remembered 
that these mothers and fathers have their children, 
perhaps seven, all small together, constantly with them 
for 365 days in the year, both day and night ; that the 
children become noisy and excited in the country, and 
that each child's noise, though it may be music in the ear 
of its mother, can hardly be anything but what it is, 
disagreeable sounds, in the ears of its mother's neighbour. 
Another objection to the presence of the children is the 
extreme difficulty of entertaining them and the grown 



82 PEACTICABLE SOCIALISM 

people together. To the social gatherings of other classes 
it is not the rule to invite children with their parents, and 
the taste or feeling which forbids such a rule is common 
to the poor. 

It is not difficult, knowing many people who would be 
glad of a day's outing, to pass on such invitations; but it 
is pleasanter, if it can be so arranged, that the guests 
should beforehand be acquainted with each other. For 
that reason it is better to invite together the members 
of a mothers' meeting and their husbands, the habitues 
of a club, the inhabitants of one block of buildings, the 
denizens of a particular court, the singing-class, the 
members of any society who worship, work, or learn to- 
gether — in short, those who unite for any purpose. 

There are other advantages in this plan besides the 
obvious one of the guests being already acquainted. 
Those who have hitherto seen each other's character 
from the work point of view only now get another stand- 
point, and the day's pleasure, together with the hearty 
laugh and the many-voiced songs, does more than many 
a pastoral address can do to teach forgiveness and break 
down barriers raised by quarrels — quarrels which more 
often owe their origin to close neighbourhoods than to bad 
tempers. * Now she ain't such a bad 'un as one would 
think, considering the way she behaved to my Billy — is 
she now ? ' is a true remark illustrating what I would say. 

The guests chosen, the invitations go out in the usual 
form : ' Mrs. So-and-So,' mentioning our hostess's name, 
* hopes to have the pleasure of seeing Mr. and Mrs. So- 
and-So on Monday, 14th, to spend the afternoon in the 
country,' and then follow the time of the train and the 
name of the station where the rendezvous is to be held. 



'AT HOME' TO THE POOE 83 

Added to these the friends connected in any way with 
the expected guests, the district visitor, the superintend- 
ent of the mothers' meeting, the lady rent-collector 
are also invited; as well as those who have gifts of 
entertaining or those to whom we wish to introduce our 
neighbours. A train is generally chosen between one 
and two o'clock, so as to enable the man to get a half- 
day's work and the woman to see to necessary household 
duties and give the children their dinner before she 
starts. 

On reaching the country station the party rambles 
through the lanes, picking grasses and flowers, taking, 
if possible, a detour before arriving at the host's house. 
' Why, the trees smell,' exclaimed one town-bred woman 
in almost awe-struck astonishment, standing under a 
lilac-tree. ' Don't it make one feel gentle-like ! ' was 
another remark made more to himself than to anyone 
else, which came from a rough one-legged board-man, as 
he stood overlooking a quiet, far-stretching scene near 
Wimbledon. 

Unless one has lived in close streets and amid noise 
and grinding hurry, it is difficult to understand the 
pleasures of these walks. The sweetness of the air, the 
quiet which can be felt, the very fact of strolling in the 
road without looking out to avoid being run over, are a 
relief, and the absence of the ever-present anxiety of the 
care of the children is a great addition to the irrespon- 
sible enjoyment of the day. 

The destination reached, it is a great help if the host 
and hostess will come out to meet and welcome the party, 
as is customary towards guests of other classes. By 
this simple courtesy the tone is at once given, and the 



84 PKACTICABLE SOCIALISM 

people feel themselves not brought out to a ' treat ' but 
invited and welcomed as guests. I have seen men, among 
whom we were told when we first went to Whitechapel it 
was not * safe ' to go alone, entirely changed by the bear- 
ing of their hosts to them, and the determination with 
which they set out, to have a * lark,' at whatever incon- 
venience to others, gradually melt away under the influ- 
ence of being treated as gentlemen. * Why, she said 
she was glad to see me,' said a low, coarse fellow, taking 
as a personal compliment to himself the conventional 
form of expression. 

The duty of introducing and welcoming over, we are 
glad if we find tables on a shady lawn or under a tent 
ready spread and waiting for us. In the excitement of 
getting off, the midday meal taken hurriedly has pro- 
bably been a slight one, and the walk and unwonted fresh 
air have given good appetites. Sometimes our hostess 
has made arrangements that all the party should take 
their food together, and this is the better plan if it can 
be managed. * Why, the gentry is sitting down with us. 
Now I do call that comfortable like,' was overheard on one 
occasion when this arrangement had been followed. If 
the one class waits on the other it but emphasises the 
painful class distinctions so sadly prominent in the ordi- 
nary affairs of life, and the feeling aroused in the minds 
of the people as they see the richer members of the 
party taken by the hostess to the house to have ' some- 
thing to eat ' is not always amiable, the ' something ' 
being interpreted as better, anyhow other than that 
provided for them, or why should it not have been taken 
together ? 

The repast given by our many kindly hosts during 



'AT HOME* TO THE POOE 85 

these eight summers of parties has been various. Some 
add eggs and bacon to the tea and cakes ; others give a 
large joint, which is even more enjoyed, a cut off a good 
14 lb. sirloin of beef being a rare luxury in the ordinary 
dietary of the working classes, while others again offer 
tea, differing only in quantity from the ordinary afternoon 
meal which is commonly taken between lunch and dinner. 
Some of our hosts give every variety of cake, such as 
Scotch housewives delight in making, though I remember 
one lady who, while most kind and anxious to give plea- 
sure, told me, as if it were an additional advantage, that 
she had ' had all the cakes made very plain, and that 
they were all baked the day before yesterday.' 

The meal over, the real pleasure of the day begins, 
and this must entirely depend on the capabilities of the 
hostess for entertaining and on the possibilities of the 
garden. If it is large, there is nothing townpeople like 
better than to saunter about, to wander in the shrubberies, 
to see the hothouses, conservatories, ferneries, especially 
if some one will be the guide and point out what is in- 
teresting, this spot where the best view is to be obtained, 
that curious flower, and tell the story hanging on this 
queerly shaped tree. 'Aye, aye, ma'am, it's all very 
beautiful, but to my mind you're the beautifullest flower 
of the lot,' was the spontaneous compliment elicited from 
a weather-beaten costermonger to the stately old lady 
who had taken pains to show him her garden, and though 
the remark was greeted with shouts of laughter from the 
surrounding group, the ' Well, he ain't far wrong, I'm 
sure,' showed that the words had only spoken out the 
thoughts of many. 

Sometimes the men go off to play cricket or bowls, to 



86 PRACTICABLE SOCIALISM 

see the puppies or horses, or some other beasts particu- 
larly interesting to the masculine mind ; or perhaps the 
interminable game of rounders occupies all the time. 
Sometimes swings, see-saws, or a row on the pond are 
great amusements. * Oh dear, I think I've only just 
learnt to enjoy myself/ gasped one buxom woman of 
fifty, breathless with swinging her neighbour, whose face 
told that her life's holidays could without difficulty be 
counted; while, to a few, the fact of sitting still and 
looking out and feeling the quiet is pleasure enough. 
' I seem to see further than ever I saw before,' murmured 
a pale young mother, sitting on the Upper Terrace at 
Hampstead, and as she said it she looked as if the sight 
of the country just then, when her eyes were reopened 
by her new motherhood, might, in another sense, make 
her see farther than she had ever seen before. 

If the garden is small and its resources soon ended, 
games must be resorted to, and such games as ' tersa,' 
where running and motion are enjoyed ; the ' ring and 
the string,' when eyes and ears must be on the alert ; 
or * blow the candle blindfold ' ; all cause hearty fun, 
especially when the unconscious blindfold, having walked 
crookedly, energetically blows, as he thinks, at the candle, 
which is still burning steadily a yard or two from him. On 
some of these occasions the hostess has had her carriage 
out, and by taking four or five of the guests at a time 
all have been able to have a short drive, and see from a 
higher elevation something more of the country, ' Well, 
I don't know that I was ever in a carriage before,' said 
one woman, who could hardly be said to have been in 
one then, as she dismounted from the box. ' Except at 
funerals,' corrected her neighbour. Might not some of 



'AT HOME 1 TO THE POOK 87 

the extraordinary liking, which is so common among the 
poor, for attending funerals be partly for the sake of the 
rare event of a drive ? Occasionally it is possible to 
get up a dance, with the help of a fiddle or piano, and 
many a pale, worn face has lost, for the time at least, 
its stamp of weariness as it grew interested in the ups 
and downs of * Sir Eoger de Coverley.' ' Bless me, if I 
ever thought to do any dancing, except the dancing of 
babbies,' was an unexpected comment from my partner 
on one occasion ; and many times have I since been 
referred to to confirm the fact that ' You did see me 
dancing, didn't you, ma'am ? ' 

Besides these active pleasures, there is the enjoyment 
of music, the love and appreciation of which is so deep 
and warm in these uncultured minds; music which more 
than anything else helps to smooth away class as well 
as other inequalities. I have seen rough low-class men 
and women leave their active games or the swing for 
which they had been waiting and cluster round the 
singer or musician begging for another and yet * another 
bit.' What they like best is a song with a chorus, or 
historical songs where they can hear the words, and next 
to these solemn music on a harmonium or organ ; but 
any music charms them, and the hostess who is either 
musical herself or who invites her musical friends to 
help her finds the task of entertaining much easier. 
An oft-repeated mistake is that the poor like comic 
songs about themselves, and * Betsy Waring ' has been 
suggested and sung at our parties more often than I like 
to remember. A moment's sympathetic thought will 
show, however, that the poor want other and wider 
interests, and it can hardly be the kindliest method of 



88 PRACTICABLE SOCIALISM 

amusing them to sing them a song, the joke of which 
lies in imitations and * take-offs ' of their mispronuncia- 
tion. It is, too, generally thought that the uneducated 
cannot appreciate what is commonly understood as ' good 
music/ but this, too, is a mistake. Long years ago I 
remember Mrs. Nassau Senior coming to a night-school 
of rough girls, held in a rough court. That evening 
some street row was more attractive than ABC, and 
our scholars were clustered around the heroine of the 
fight. I can still see the picture made by Mrs. Senior 
as she stood and sang in the doorway of the school- 
room, which opened directly on to the court, and among 
such surroundings it was a deep-sighted sympathy which 
led her to choose * Angels ever bright and fair.' For 
long afterwards she was remembered as * the lady who 
came and sang about the angels, and looked like one 
herself.' 

It is well if the hostess can bring her instrument 
to the window, so that the people can hear as they sit on 
the lawn outside and enjoy the air ; perhaps she may 
find it possible to ask two or three of her guests who 
can sing, with strong, sweet, though untrained voices, to 
join her in a duet or glee, and helping, they enjoy the 
pleasure with the helper's joy. Occasionally one of the 
party may have brought an accordion with which to 
aid the impromptu concert, or some one will recall the 
piece of poetry committed to memory long years ago, 
and then we have a recitation, which pleases none the 
less because it is ' Jim Straw's one bit,' and has been 
heard a few times before. Jf it be wet or windy the 
hostess may ask her guests into the drawing-room. 
' You did not see the drawing-room, did you, mum ? ' 



< AT HOME' TO THE POOE 89 

asked one of the guests after a party which I had been 
obliged to leave early ; ' it was lovely, and we all sat 
there quite friendly-like and listened to the music. I 
did like the look of that room.' Very pregnant of 
influence are these introductions into a house scrupu- 
lously clean and tastily furnished — a house kept as the 
dwelling of every human being should be kept. Do we 
not know ourselves, if we go to visit a friend with a 
higher standard of art, morals, or culture, how subtle is 
the influence ; how from such visits (albeit unconsciously, 
or at least hardly with deliberate resolve) is dated the 
turning towards the new light, the intention to be more 
perfect ? 

One lady, with the real feeling of hostess-ship, took 
her Whitechapel guests, as she would any others, into a 
bedroom to take their outdoor things off. Touching, if 
amusing, was the remark of a girl of fifteen or there- 
abouts who, turning to her mother, said, * Look, mother, 
here's a bed with a room all to itself ! ' ' Has any one 
really slept in this white bed ? ' was asked by another of 
that same party. While to others of a rather higher 
class, who have been servants before marriage, the rein- 
troduction to such a house is a great pleasure, though 
to them not such a revelation as it is to those who have 
passed all their lives in factories or workshops. It is a 
welcome reminder of their past, and often suggests little 
improvements in the arrangement of their homes. It 
is a means also of diffusing a love of beauty, a sense 
of harmony, and an artistic taste, not to be despised 
among those who feel that the ' Beauty of Holiness ' con- 
stitutes its attraction to the right living which leads to 
Eighteousness. 



90 PRACTICABLE SOCIALISM 

In various ways, too many to describe, but which 
every hostess can devise, the hours between half-past 
four and eight can be pleasantly filled, until the drawing 
in of the long summer evening brings the party to a 
close. The announcement of supper is generally greeted 
with, * What, go home already ? ' or, ' The time don't go 
so fast working days,' but garden parties must neces- 
sarily end with daylight, and for folk up at six in the 
morning ten or eleven o'clock is a late enough bed hour. 
Supper is generally a small meal — cake, buns, or pastry, 
with lemonade, fruit, or cold coffee — simply a light re- 
freshment taken standing ; but some of the friends who 
entertain us like better to give the light meal on the 
arrival of the guests, and the more substantial one later. 
The first plan, though, is perhaps better, as the people 
leave their homes early, and many of them miss their 
dinner altogether, amid the necessary preparation for the 
long absence. 

' Good-night, sir, and God bless you for this day ! ' 
was the farewell of one of his guests to his silver-haired 
host, words which struck him deeply. * Dear me, dear 
me ! why did I never think of it before ? ' he exclaimed ; 
and really this means of doing good seems so simple 
and self-evident that it is to be wondered at that those 
working among the poor should often not know where to 
take their people for a day's outing. London suburbs 
abound with families hardly one of whom does not 
give a garden party in the course of the summer, and 
yet how few of these parties are to guests 'who can- 
not bid again ! ' The expense of such a party is cer- 
tainly not the reason of its rarity. An entertainment 
such as I have told about, even when meat is given, does 



'AT HOME* TO THE POOK 91 

not cost more than a shilling or eighteenpence a head. 
The trouble cannot be the deterrent motive, for that is 
nothing to be compared to the trouble of a dinner-party, 
nor even of any ordinary ' at home.' ' The servants 
would not like it ' is sometimes urged as a reason, but 
it is certainly not the experience of those who, having 
overcome the objections of their servants, have tried it, 
and found that they entered thoroughly into the spirit 
of a party at which they had the pleasant duty of 
entertaining joined to their usual one of serving, and 
on more than one occasion the hearty welcome given 
by the servants has added much to the success of our 
day. 

Perhaps, amid the many difficulties to which modern 
civilisation has brought us, one of the saddest is the 
mutual ignorance of the lives and minds of members of 
the same household — an ignorance often leading to 
division. It may not, I think, be the least important 
good of these parties that they afford a subject regarding 
which master and servants can be, anyhow for one day, 
of one mind and purpose. 

Neither does it require the possession of a mansion or 
park before such an invitation can be sent ; in fact, some 
of the pleasantest parties have been given in the smallest 
gardens, where kindliness and genial welcome have made 
up for want of space. One lady, indeed, who was stay- 
ing for the summer in lodgings in the country gave 
happy afternoons and pleasant memories to more than 
eighty people. She asked them in little groups of twelve 
or fourteen, took them long country rambles, or obtained 
permission to saunter in a neighbour's garden, and when 
the evenings drew in (it was in August) brought them 



92 PRACTICABLE SOCIALISM 

back to her rooms, where a good tea-supper and a few 
songs brought the entertainment to a close. 

The guests need not always be grown people. It 
is, perhaps, even more important to give the growing 
girl or the boy just entering into manhood a taste for 
simple pleasures. Very delightful is the interest and 
enjoyment of these young things in the country life and 
wonders. The evening sewing-class, consisting of big girls 
at work every day in factories ; the Bible class of young 
men; the discussion club; the children-servants (so 
numerous and so joyless in our great cities) — such little 
groups can be found around every place of worship, or are 
known to every one living among or busying himself for 
the good of the poor. All are open to invitations, and these 
can be entertained even more easily than their elders. 
* Don't you remember this or that ? ' my young friends 
often ask about some trivial incident long since vanished 
from my memory, and when, demurring, I ask ' When ? ' 
the unfailing answer, varying in form but monotonous 
in substance, is * Why, that day when you took us into 
the country. You can't forget. It was grand.' 

Strangely ignorant a.re some of these town-bred folk 
of things which seem to us always to have been known 
and never to have been taught. They call every flower 
a rose, and express wonder at the commonest object. 
' Law ! here's straw a-growing ! ' I once heard in a corn- 
field, and emerging into a fir-wood soon after, we all 
joined in a laugh at the remark, 'Why, here's hundreds 
of Christmas trees all together.' Anything, provided it 
is joined to active movement, without which young things 
never seem quite happy, serves to amuse and to pass the 
time. A competition to see which girls shall gather the 



'AT HOME 1 TO THE POOR 93 

best nosegays, the proposal to the boys to search for 
some animal, queer plant, or odd stone, have helped to 
carry the guests over many miles and through long after- 
noons. Perhaps one of the nicest things which any 
young lady can do, even if she is not able or allowed to 
attempt the larger undertaking of a party, is to take 
some ten or twelve school boys and girls for a walk on 
their Saturday afternoon holiday. She need keep them, 
perhaps, only three or four hours, when milk or lemonade 
and buns, got at any milk-shop, will serve as a substitute 
for the usual tea. 

But, besides these country parties which town-dwellers 
are quite unable to give, there is still left to us Londoners 
the possibility (not to say duty) of inviting the poor to 
our own houses. Our poor neighbours have not been 
asked to many such parties, but the few to which they 
have been bidden have been very pleasant. At one our 
hostess, but lately returned from the East, had arranged 
tableaux-vivants introducing Oriental costumes in her 
drawing-room, and the guests were delighted at seeing 
the people of the one foreign nation of which they knew 
anything— the Bible having been the literature which 
made them conversant with that — as large as life, and 
all ' real men and solid women.' Another time a little 
charade was got up, and proud was the mother whose 
baby was pressed into early service as a play-actor. 
Other friends have entertained us after a visit to the 
Kensington Museum or Zoological Gardens, while some 
evenings have been passed in much the same way as by 
other people who meet for social pleasure ; with talk, 
music, strange foreign things, portfolios, and puzzles, 
though games may, perhaps, have occupied a somewhat 



94 PRACTICABLE SOCIALISM 

longer time than is usual among guests with more con- 
versational interests. To all of us have these parties 
given much pleasure — pleasure which is, in truth, health- 
ful and refreshing amid the sorrow and pain so liberally 
mingled in the life's cup of the poor. ' This evening I've 
forgot all the winter's troubles/ followed the ' Good-night ' 
from the lips of a pain-broken woman ; and considering 
the ' winter's troubles ' included the death of a child and 
the semi-starvation resulting from the almost constant 
out-of-work condition of the husband, the party seemed 
a strangely inadequate means of producing even tempo- 
rarily so large a result. 

The efforts made to attend are one of the signs of how 
much these and the country parties are enjoyed. One 
woman came, with her puling, pink ten-days-old baby, 
and both men and women constantly get up from a sick- 
bed to return to it again as soon as the pleasure is over. 
* We can't afford to lose it, yer see ; they don't come too 
often,' is the sort of answer one usually receives in reply 
to remonstrance. 

But this paper will accomplish its object if * they do 
come oftener,' and if not only the poor of our big London, 
to whom we owe special duties, but if the poor of all 
great cities are more thought of in the light of guests. 

The duty once recognised, the method becomes plain. 
Every one, even those whose work does not take them 
among the poor, can manage to be introduced to some who 
are leading pleasure-barren lives, and to employers of 
labour in factories or trades it is especially easy. The in- 
troduction made, the rest follows naturally, and though 
pleasure is in itself so great a good that I would hold the 
thing worth doing if this alone were obtained, yet I think 
a prophet's eye is not needed to see the other possible 



'AT HOME' TO THE POOE 95 

good resulting from such gatherings. The wider inter- 
ests, the seeds of culture, the introduction to simple re- 
creations, the suggestion of ideal beauty, the possession 
of happy memories, the class relationships, are the ad- 
vantages one can rapidly count off as accruing to the 
entertained, and as important are the gains of the enter- 
tainers. The rich, coming face to face with the poor, 
have seen patience which puts their restlessness to shame ; 
endurance about which poems have yet to be written ; 
hope which is deep and springing from the roots of their 
being ; charity which never faileth, including, as it often 
does, the adoption of the orphan child or the sharing of 
the room with a lone woman, compared to which the 
biggest subscription is as nothing; kindliness which, 
though unthinking, spareth not itself. Each class has its 
virtues, but, as yet, they are unknown to each other. It 
is for the rich to take the first step towards knowing and 
being known ; it is for them to say if the class hatreds, 
which like other 'warfare comes from misunderstanding,' 
shall exist in our midst. It is for them to make the way 
of friendship through the wall of gold now dividing the rich 
from the poor. It is for them to give fellowship which, 
crushing envy, takes the sting out of poverty. And all this 
can be done, by spending some thought, a little money, 
and some afternoons in being ' At Home ' to the poor. 

Great ends these to follow the small trouble and ex- 
pense of a garden party. It will not, though, be the first 
time in history that good has been done by means which 
seemed contemptible, and it will not seem strange to those 
who have learnt that it is a Life and not a law, friend- 
ships and not organisations, which have taught the world 
its greatest lessons. 



96 PRACTICABLE SOCIALISM 



VI. 

UNIVERSITY SETTLEMENTS. 1 

Once more, as happens in crises of history, rich and 
poor have met. * Scientific charity/ or the system which 
aims at creating respectability by methods of relief, has 
come to the judgment, and has been found wanting. 
Societies which helped the poor by gifts made paupers, 
churches which would have saved them by preaching 
made hypocrites, and the outcome of scientific charity is 
the working man too thrifty to pet his children and too 
respectable to be happy. 

Those who have tried hardest at planning relief and 
at bringing to a focus the forces of charity, those who 
have sacrificed themselves to stop the demoralising out- 
relief and restore to the people the spirit of self-reliance, 
will be the first to confess dissatisfaction if they are told 
that the earthly paradise of the majority of the people 
must be to belong to a club, to pay for a doctor through a 
provident dispensary, and to keep themselves unspotted 
from charity or pauperism. There is not enough in such 
hope to call out efforts of sacrifice, and a steady look into 
such an earthly paradise discloses that the life of tha 

1 Reprinted, by permission, from the Nineteenth Century of February 
1884. 



UN1VEKSITY SETTLEMENTS 97 

thrifty is a sad life, limited both by the pressure of con- 
tinuous toil and by the fear lest this pressure should 
cease and starvation ensue. 

The poor need more than food : they need also the 
knowledge, the character, the happiness which are the gift 
of God to this age. The age has received His best gifts, 
but hitherto they have fallen mostly to the rich. 

It is a moment of Peace. To-day there are no battles, 
but the returns of the dead and wounded from accidents 
with machinery and from diseases resulting from in- 
jurious trades show that there are countless homes in 
which there must still be daily uncertainty as to the 
father's return, and many children and wives who become 
orphans and widows for their country's good. 

It is an age of Knowledge. But if returns were made 
either of the increased health due to the skill of doctors 
and sanitarians, or of the increased pleasures due to the 
greater knowledge of the thoughts and acts of other men 
in other times and countries, it would be shown that 
neither length of days nor pleasure falls to the lot of the 
poor. Few are the poor families where the mother will 
not say, ' I have buried many of mine.' Few are the 
homes where the talk has any subject beyond the day's 
doings and the morrow's fears. 

It is an age of Travel, but the mass of the poor know 
little beyond the radius of thQir own homes. It is no 
unusual thing to find people within ten miles of a famous 
sight which they have never seen, and it is the usual 
thing to find complete ignorance of other modes of life, a 
thorough contempt for the foreigner and all his ways. 
The improved means of communication which is the 
boast of the age, and which has done so much to widen 



98 PRACTICABLE SOCIALISM 

thought, tends to the enjoyment of the rich more than of 
the poor. 

It is an age of the Higher Life. Higher conceptions 
of virtue, a higher ideal of what is possible for man, are 
the best gift to our day, but it is received only by those 
who have time and power to study. ' They who want the 
necessaries of life want also a virtuous and an equal 
mind,' says the Chinese sage ; and so the poor, being 
without those things necessary to the growth of mind 
and feeling, jeopardise Salvation — the possession, that 
is, of a life at one with the Good and the True, at one 
with God. 

Those who care for the poor see that the best things 
are missed, and they are not content with the hope 
offered by ' scientific charity.' They see that the best 
things might be shared by all, and they cannot stand aside 
and do nothing. ' The cruellest man living/ it has been 
said, ' could not sit at his feast unless he sat blindfold,' 
and those who see must do something. They may be 
weary of revolutionary schemes, which turn the world 
upside down to produce after anarchy another unequal 
division; they may be weary, too, of philanthropic schemes 
which touch but the edge of the question. They may 
hear of dynamite, and they may watch the failure of an 
Education Act, as the prophets watched the failure of 
teachers without knowledge. They may criticise all that 
philanthropists and Governments do, but still they them- 
selves would do something. No theory of progress, no 
proof that many individuals among the poor have be- 
come rich, will make them satisfied with the doctrine of 
laissezfaire ; they simply face the fact that in the richest 
country of the world the great mass of their countrymen 



UNIVEKSITY SETTLEMENTS 99 

live without the knowledge, the character, and the fulness 
of life which are the best gift to this age, and that some 
thousands either beg for their daily bread or live in anxious 
misery about a wretched existence. What can they do 
which revolutions, which missions, and which money 
have not done ? 

It is in answer to such a question that I make the 
suggestion of this paper. I make it especially as a de- 
velopment of the idea which underlies a College Mission. 
These Missions are generally inaugurated by a visit to 
# a college from some well-known clergyman working in the 
East End of London or in some such working-class 
quarter. He speaks to the undergraduates of the condi- 
tion of the poor, and he rouses their sympathy. A com- 
mittee is appointed, subscriptions are promised, and 
after some negotiations a young clergyman, a former 
member of the college, is appointed as a Mission curate 
of a district. He at once sets in motion the usual paro- 
chial machinery of district visiting, mothers' meetings, 
clubs, &c. He invites the assistance of those of his old 
mates who will help ; at regular intervals he makes a 
report of his progress, and if all goes well he is at last 
able to tell how the district has become a parish. 

The Mission, good as its influence may be, is not, it 
seems to me, an adequate expression of the idea which 
moved the promoters. The hope in the College when the 
first sympathy was roused was that all should join in 
good work, and the Mission is necessarily a Church- 
man's effort. The desire was that as University men 
they should themselves bear the burdens of the poor — 
and the Mission requires of them little more than an 
annual guinea subscription. The grand idea whkJa. 



100 PRACTICABLE SOCIALISM 

moved the College, the idea which, like a new creative 
spirit, is brooding over the face of Society, and is 
making men conscious of their brotherhood, finds no 
adequate expression in the district church machinery 
with which, in East London, I am familiar. There is 
little in that machinery which helps the people to con- 
ceive of religion apart from sectarianism, or of a Church 
which is ' the nation bent on righteousness.' There is 
little, too, in the ordinary parochial mechanism which 
will carry to the homes of the poor a share of the best 
gifts now enjoyed in the University. 

Imagine a man's visit to the Mission District of his 
college. He has thought of the needs of the poor, and 
of the way in which those needs are being met. He has 
formed in his mind a picture of a district where loving 
supervision has made impossible the wretchedness of 
' horrible London ' ; he expects to find well-ordered 
houses, people interested in the thoughts of the day, 
gathering round their pastor to learn of men and of God. 
He finds instead an Ireland in England, people paying 
3s. or 4s. a week for rooms smaller than Irish cabins, 
without the pure air of the Irish hill-side, and with vice 
which makes squalor hopeless. He finds a population 
dwarfed in stature, smugly content with their own ex- 
istence, ignorant of their high vocation to be partners of 
the highest, where even the children are not joyful. He 
measures the force which the Mission curate is bringing 
to bear against all this evil. He finds a church which is 
used only for a few hours in the week, and which is kept 
up at a cost of 150Z. a year. He finds the clergyman 
absorbed in holding together his congregation by means 
of meetings and treats, and almost broken down by the 



UNIVERSITY SETTLEMENTS . 101 

strain put upon him to keep his parochial organisa- 
tion going. The clergyman is alone, his church work 
absorbs his power and attracts little outside help. What 
can he do to improve the dwellings and widen the 
lives of 4,000 persons ? What can he do to spread 
knowledge and culture ? What can he do to teach the 
religion which is more than church-going ? What 
wonder if, when he is asked what help he needs, he 
answers, 'Money for my church,' 'Teachers for my 
Sunday school,' ' Managers for my clothing club ' ? What 
wonder, too, if the visitor, seeing such things and hear- 
ing such demands, goes away somewhat discontented, 
somewhat inclined to give up faith in the Mission, and, 
what is worse, ready to believe that there is no way by 
which the best can be given to the poor ? 

It is to members of the Universities anxious to unite 
in a common purpose of improving the lives of the peo- 
ple that I make the suggestion that University Settle- 
ments will better express their idea. College Missions have 
done some of the work on which they have been sent, 
but in their very nature their field is limited. It is in no 
opposition to these Missions, but rather with a view to 
more fully cover their idea, that I propose the new scheme. 
The details of the plan may be shortly stated. 

The place of settlement must of course first be fixed. 
It will be in some such poor quarter as that of East 
London, where a house can be taken in which there shall 
be both habitable chambers and large reception-rooms. 
A man must be chosen to be the chief of the Settlement ; 
he must receive a salary which, like that of the Mission 
curate, will be guaranteed by the College, and he must 
make his home in the house. He must have taken a 



102 PRACTICABLE SOCIALISM 

good degree, be qualified to teach, and be endowed with 
the enthusiasm of humanity. Such men are not hard 
to find ; under a wiser Church government they would 
be clergymen, and serve the people as the nation's mini- 
sters ; but, under a Church government which in an 
age of reform has remained unreformed, they are kept 
outside, and often fret in other service. One of these, 
qualified by training to teach, qualified by character to 
organise and command, qualified by disposition to make 
friends with all sorts of men, would gladly accept a 
position in which he could both earn a livelihood and 
fulfil his calling. He would be the centre of the Univer- 
sity Settlement. Men fresh from college or old Univer- 
sity men would come to occupy the chambers as residents. 
Lecturers in connection with the University Extension 
Society would be his fellow-lecturers in the reception- 
rooms, and as the head of such a Settlement he would 
extend a welcome to all classes in his new neighbourhood. 

The old Universities exercise a strange charm : the 
Oxford or Cambridge man is still held to possess some 
peculiar knowledge, and the fact that three of the 
most democratic boroughs are represented by University 
professors has its explanation. ' He speaks beautiful 
German, but of course those University gentlemen ought 
to,' was a man's reflection to me after a talk with a 
Cambridge professor. Those, too, who may be supposed 
to know what draws in an advertising poster, are always 
glad to print after the name of a speaker his degree and 
college. 

Thus it would be that the head of the Settlement 
would find himself as closely related to his new sur- 
roundings as to his old. The same reputation, which 



UNIVERSITY SETTLEMENTS 103 

would draw to him fellow-scholars or old pupils, would 
put him in a position to discover the work and thought 
going on around him. He would become familiar with 
the teachers in the elementary and middle-class schools, 
he would measure the work done by clergy and mission- 
aries, he would be in touch with the details of local 
politics ; and, what is most important of all, he would 
come into sympathy with the hope, the unnamed hope, 
which is moving in the masses. 

The Settlement would be common ground for all 
classes. In the lecture-room the knowledge gathered at 
the highest sources would, night after night, be freely 
given. In the conversation rooms the students would 
exchange ideas and form friendships. At the weekly 
receptions of ' all sorts and conditions of men ' the resi- 
dents would mingle freely in the crowd. 

The internal arrangements would be simple enough. 
The Head would undertake the domestic details and fix 
the price which residents would pay for board and lodging. 
He would admit new members and judge if the inten- 
tions of those who offered were honest. Some would come 
for their vacations ; others occupied during the daytime 
would come to make the place their home. University 
men, barristers, Government clerks, curates, medical stu- 
dents, or business men each would have opportunity both 
for solitary and for associated life, and the expense would 
be various to suit their various means. The one uniting 
bond would be the common purpose, ' not without action 
to die fruitless,' but to do something to improve the 
condition of the people. It would be the duty of the 
Head to keep alive among his fellows the freshness of 
their purpose, ' to recall the stragglers, refresh the out- 



104 PRACTICABLE SOCIALISM 

worn, praise and reinspire the brave.* He would have, 
therefore, to judge of the powers of each to fill the places 
to which he could introduce them. To some he would 
recommend official positions, to some teaching, to some 
the organisation of relief, to some the visiting of the 
sick, and thus new life would be infused into existing 
churches, chapels, and institutions. Others he would 
introduce as members of Co-operative Societies, Friendly 
Societies, or Political and Social Clubs. He would so 
arrange that all should occupy positions in which they 
would become friends of his neighbours, and discover, 
perhaps as none have yet discovered, how to meet their 
needs. 

In such an institution it is easy to see that develop- 
ment might be immeasurable. A born leader of men 
surrounded by a group of intelligent and earnest friends, 
pledged not ' to go round in an eddy of purposeless dust,' 
and placed face to face with the misery and apathy they 
know to be wrong, would of necessity discover means 
beyond our present vision. They would bind themselves 
by sympathy and service to the lives of the people ; they 
would bring the light and strength of intelligence to 
bear on their government, and they would give a voice 
both to their needs and their wrongs. It is easy to 
imagine what such settlers in a great town might do, 
but it will be more to the point to consider how they 
may express the idea which underlies the College Mis- 
sion — the interest, that is, of centres of education in the 
centres of industry, and the will of University men to 
acknowledge their brotherhood with the people. 

If it be that the Missionary's account of his Mission 
district fails at last to rouse the interest of his hearers, 



UNIVERSITY SETTLEMENTS 105 

and if his work seems to be absorbed in the effort to 
keep going his parochial machinery amid a host of like 
machines, the same cannot be the fate of the Settle- 
ment. 

Some of the settlers will settle themselves for longer 
periods, and those who are occupied during the daytime 
will find it as possible to live among the poor as among 
the rich ; but there must also be room for those who 
can spend only a few weeks or months in the Settle- 
ment, so that men may come, as some already have 
come, to East London to spend part of a vacation in serv- 
ing the people. This interchange of life between the 
University and the Settlement will keep up between the 
two a living tie. Each term will bring, not a set speech 
about the work of the Mission, but the many chats on 
the wonders of human life. The condition of the Eng- 
lish people, will come to be a fact more familiar than that 
of the Grecian or Eomah, and the history of the College 
Settlement will be better known than that of the boat or 
the eleven. On the other side, thoughts and feelings which 
are now often spent in vain talks at debating societies 
will go up to town to refresh those who are spent by 
labour, or to find an outlet in action. 

There is no fear that the College Settlement will fail 
to rouse interest. Its life will be the life of the College. 
As long as both draw their strength from the common 
source, from the same body of members, the sympathy 
of the College will be with the people. Nor is there any 
fear lest the work of the settlers become stereotyped, as 
is often the case with the work of Missions and Societies. 
Each year, each term, would alter the constitution of 
the Settlement as other settlers brought in other cha- 



106 PRACTICABLE SOCIALISM 

racters and the results of other knowledge, or as their 
ideas became modified by common work with the various 
religious and secular organisations of the neighbourhood. 
The danger, indeed, would not be from uniformity of 
method or narrowness of aim; rather would it be the 
endeavour of the Head to limit the diversity which many 
minds would introduce, and restrain a liberality willing 
to see good in every form of earnestness. The variety 
of work which would embrace the most varied effort, and 
enlist its members in every movement for the common 
good, would keep about the Settlement the beauty of a 
perpetual promise. 

If we go further, and ask how this plan reaches 
deeper than others which have gone before, the question 
is not so easily answered, because it is impossible to 
prophesy that a University Settlement will make the 
poor rich or give them the necessaries of true life. Inas- 
much, though, as poverty — poverty in its true sense, 
including poverty of the knowledge of God and man — 
is largely due to the division of classes, a University 
Settlement does provide a remedy which goes deeper 
than that provided by popular philanthropy. 

The poor man of modern days has to live in a 
quarter of the town where he cannot even try to live 
with those superior to himself. Around him are thou- 
sands educated as he has been educated, with taste and 
with knowledge on a level with his own. The demand 
for low things has created a supply of low satisfactions. 
Thus it is that the amusements are unrecreative, the 
lectures uninstructive, and the religion uninspiring. It 
is not possible for the inhabitant of the poor quarter to 
come into casual intercourse with the higher manners of 



UNIVERSITY SETTLEMENTS 107 

life and thought except at a cost which would constitute 
a large percentage of his income. 

I am afraid that it is long before we can expect the 
rich and poor again to live as neighbours : for good or 
evil they have been divided, and other means must, for 
the present, be found for making common the property 
of knowledge. One such means is the University 
Settlement. Men who have knowledge may become 
friends of the poor and share that knowledge and 
its fruits as, day by day, they meet in their common 
rooms for talk or for instruction, for music or for 
play. 

The settlers will be able to join in that which is 
done by other societies, while they share all their best 
with the poor, and in the highest sense make their 
property common. They may be some of the best 
charity agents, for they will have an experience out of 
the reach of others, which they will have accumulated 
through their different agencies. As members of various 
secular and religious organisations, they may be able to 
compare notes after the day's work, and offer evidence 
as to how the poor live which, in days to come, might be 
invaluable. They may be some of the best educators, for, 
bringing ever-fresh stores of thought, they will see the 
weak spots in a routine which daily tires a child because it 
does so little to teach him, and they will have an opinion 
on national education better worth considering than the 
grumbles of those wearied with most things, or the con- 
gratulations of officials who judge by examinations. They 
may be the best Church reformers, for they will make 
more and more manifest how it is not institutions but 
righteousness which exalts a nation; how, one after 



108 PEACTICABLE SOCIALISM 

another, all reforms fail because men tell lies and love 
themselves; and how, therefore, the first of all reforms is 
the reform of the Church, whose mission for the nation is 
that it create righteousness. 

There is, then, for the settler of a University Settle- 
ment an ideal worthy of his sacrifice. He looks not to 
a Church buttressed by party spirit, nor to a community 
founded on self-helped respectability. He looks rather 
to a community where the best is most common, where 
there is no more hunger and misery, because there is no 
more ignorance and sin — a community in which the poor 
have all that gives value to wealth, in which beauty, 
knowledge, and righteousness are nationalised. 

Samuel A. Baknett. 



[This paper was read at a meeting at St. John's College, Oxford, in 
November 1883, and resulted in the foundation of Toynbee Hall, White- 
chapel, and other University Settlements in poor districts of large 
towns.] 



109 



VII. 



PICTURES FOR THE PEOPLE} 

* It is folly, if nothing worse, to attempt it. What do 
the people want with fine art ? They will neither under- 
stand nor appreciate it. Show them an oleograph of 
" Little Bed Biding Hood," or a coloured illustration of 
" Daniel in the Lions' Den," and they will like it just as 
much as Mr. Millais's "Chill October" or Mr. Watts's 
" Love and Death." ' 

Such opinions met us at every turn when we first 
began to think of having an Art Exhibition in White- 
chapel. But we knew that it is not only indifference 
which keeps the people living in the far East away 
from the West End Art Treasures. The expense of tran- 
sit ; the ignorance of ways of getting about ; the short- 
ness of daylight beyond working hours during the greater 
part of the year ; the impression that the day when they 
could go is sure to be the day when the Museum is ' closed 
to the public ' — all these little discouragements become 
difficulties, especially to the large number who have not 
yet had enough opportunities of knowing the joy which 
Art gives. 

1 Reprinted, by permission, from the Cornhill Magazine, Marchl883. 



110 PRACTICABLE SOCIALISM 

' Well, I should not have believed I could have en- 
joyed myself so much, and yet been so quiet,' describes a 
lesson learnt from an hour spent in Mr. Watts's Gallery 
at Little Holland House; and once, after showing a 
party of mechanics a large photograph of the Dresden 
Madonna, I was asked, ' Where now can we see such things 
often ? ' while further talk on the picture elicited from 
another of the same group, * But that's more the philo- 
sophy of pictures ; one wants to see a great many to learn 
how to see them so.' 

Such remarks, by no means isolated, and the pro- 
posal that we should * get up a Loan Exhibition ' from one 
of our active working-men friends, turned inclination 
into determination. 

The resources at command were hardly enough to 
promise success in the undertaking. They were but 
three schoolrooms, thirty feet by sixty, behind the 
church, not on a central thoroughfare, and approached 
by a passage yard; the light was much obscured by 
surrounding buildings ; the doorways were narrow and 
the staircase crooked. But friends came forward to 
help, and there was soon formed a large committee, 
which, after meeting two or three times to discuss 
general principles and plans, divided itself into sub-com- 
mittees to carry out special branches of a work which, 
though to a large extent one of detail, was by no means 
slight. 

The hanging committee undertook to measure space, 
obtain the sizes of pictures, and see to the strength of 
rods and thickness of walls, but to the general com- 
mittee was left the duty of refusing undesirable-sized or 
inappropriate pictures. This last was by no means the 



PICTURES FOR THE PEOPLE 111 

least difficult labour, so extraordinary were some of the 
loans offered to us ; a dreadful portrait of an uncomely 
old lady was sent because ' she was the maternal grand- 
mother of a man who used to keep a shop in the High 
Street/ this recommendation being considered sufficient 
to obtain for the picture a place in an Art Collection ; a 
pencil drawing ' done by John when he was only fifteen, 
and now he's doing well in the pawnbroking line/ was 
held worthy by a proud mother. 

But if, on the one side, we were somewhat over- 
whelmed with offers of loans of doubtful description, on 
the other we were not unfrequently surprised at the un- 
willingness of art owners to lend their treasures. Vain 
were promises of safety and insurance. 'I don't fear 
for the pictures, but I don't like to have my walls bare/ 
was the too common answer ; and the argument, * Not 
for a fortnight, to enable thousands of people to see 
them ? ' rarely penetrated the coat of selfishness which 
incases such owners. 

By no means had the hanging committee a mono- 
poly of work. The decorative committee made it its 
duty to provide hangings, flags, bunting; to hide the 
usual schoolroom suggestions, and to make the place 
attractive to the passing crowd. The advertising com- 
mittee undertook the difficult and expensive work of 
making the undertaking known, always difficult, but espe- 
cially so when many of the people among whom the in- 
formation has to be spread can neither read nor write. 
The finance committee did the dull but necessary work 
connected with money. 

At the first Exhibition 3d. was charged for admission 
during seven days, and free admittance granted for two 



112 PRACTICABLE SOCIALISM 

days. On the threepenny days 4,000 people paid or 
were paid for ; on the free days, including Sunday, 5,000 
came to see the show. The box for donations contained 
on the seven paying days 4Z. 16s. Id. ; on the two free 
days 61. 2s. 3d. The second Exhibition was opened free. 
In the thirteen days 26,492 people came to see it. The 
boxes contained 212. 8s. 9d., and 4,600 catalogues were 
sold at Id., 1 realising 20Z. 17s. Id., the cost of printing of 
which was 172. 16s. 

Not the least weighted with responsibility was the 
watch committee, whose work was the safeguarding 
of the loans, both by night and day. Policemen, fire- 
men, and caretakers had to be engaged, not to mention 
the organisation required to arrange for the eighteen 
or twenty gentlemen who came down daily to ' take a 
watch ' of four hours in the rooms ; where their presence 
not only served to prevent unseemly conduct, but their 
descriptions of pictures and homely chats with the people 
made often all the difference between an intelligent visit 
and a listless ten minutes' stare. The work of borrowing 
was everybody's work ; and, on the whole, the response 
met with has been generous, particularly from the artists 
and those owners whose possessions were few. 

The first Exhibition included — besides pictures — 
pottery, needlework, and curiosities ; but, interesting as 
these were, the expense of getting them together, provid- 
ing cases for them, and showing them thoroughly under 
glass, was so great that in the second Exhibition it was 
determined to exhibit only pictures and such works of 
art and curiosities as the Kensington Museum would lend 

1 First edition was sold at 3d. ; and some on the first day at 6d., 
while a few were given away. 



PICTURES FOR THE PEOPLE 113 

us, the latter already in cases, and with their own special 
caretaker to boot. 

The cataloguing and describing committee comes 
last ; and its work, though done in a hurry, bore no slight 
relation to the success of the undertaking. 

It is impossible for the ignorant to even look at a 
picture with any interest unless they are acquainted with 
the subject ; but when once the story is told to them 
their plain, direct method of looking at things enables 
them to go straight to the point, and perhaps to reach 
the artist's meaning more clearly than some of those art 
critics whose vision is obscured by thoughts of ' tone, 
harmony, and construction.' 

Mr. Bichmond's fine picture of ' Ariadne ' elicited 
many remarks. ' Why, it is crazy Jane ! ' exclaimed one 
woman, following up the declaration in a few moments 
by, * and it's finely done, too ; * but the story once ex- 
plained, either by catalogue or talk, the interest in- 
creased. * Poor soul ! she's seen her day,' came from a 
genuine sympathiser. ' Oh, no ! she'll get another lover ; 
rest sure of that.' ' 'Tain't quite likely, seeing that it's 
a desert island ! ' was the practical retort, which rather 
dumbfounded the hopeful commentator ; but she would 
have the last word : * Well, I would, if it were myself, 
and she'll find a way, sure enough, somehow.' ' The 
light is all behind her,' showed a delicate perception of 
what, perhaps, the artist himself had put in with the 
truth of unconsciousness. 

Mr. Briton Biyiere's representation of the l Dying 
Gladiator ' was the subject of much conversation. It is, 
perhaps, hardly necessary to remind any one of the pic- 
ture, which was in the Academy but a year or two ago. 



114 PEACTICABLE SOCIALISM 

The splendid painting of the tigers, both dead and living, 
with the vividly depicted physical agony of the martyr, 
in spite of which he feels triumph, as, faithful even in 
death, he makes the sign of the cross in the sand, would 
probably make an impression on and be remembered by 
those who saw it. 

' There, my boy, there's your ancestor in the lions' 
den ! * was the paternal explanation of one of Abraham's 
descendants to his small son ; but a reference to the 
catalogue changed his opinion on the subject, if not on the 
goodness of the cause for which the gladiator suffered. 
The description in the catalogue for this picture was : 
1 The Romans, for their holiday amusement, made their 
prisoners fight with wild beasts. The young Christian 
has killed one of the tigers; but is himself mortally 
wounded. His last act is to trace in the sand the form 
of a cross, the sign of the faith for which he dies. The 
shouts of the excited crowd, the roar of the baulked tiger, 
are fading in his ears. God has kissed him, and he 
will sleep.' Somewhat fanciful, perhaps, but reaching, 
maybe, the spirit of the picture more truly than a plainer 
statement of facts would have done. ' " God kissed 
him," it says; I should have said the tiger clawed 
him,' was the one adverse criticism overheard on the 
description. As a rule, the subject of the picture once 
understood, the people stood before it in thoughtful con- 
sideration. 

Mr. Richmond's ' Sleep and Death,' as well as Mr. 
Watts's * Time, Death, and Judgment,' both ideal rather 
than historical or domestic pictures, were greatly enjoyed, 
and this by a class of people whose external lives are 
drearily barren of ideals. 



PICTURES FOR THE PEOPLE 115 

An interpretation offered by any one who had studied 
the parable pictures was eagerly accepted, and further 
thoughts suggested. ' You can't see Judgment's face for 
his arm/ perhaps had, perhaps had not, more meaning 
in it than the speaker meant ; while in reference to the 
woman's listless dropping of her flowers from her lap 
in * Time, Death, and Judgment,' the remark, ' Death 
does not want the flowers now she's got 'em,' told of 
thoughtful suffering at the apparent wastefulness of 
death. ' Time is young yet, then,' made one feel that 
the speaker had caught a glimpse of life's possibilities 
with which probably any number of homilies had failed 
to impress him. 

* Sleep and Death,' depicting the strong, pale warrior 
borne on the shoulders of Sleep, while being gently lifted 
into the arms of Death — so simple in colour, pure in 
idea, rich in suggestion — was good for the poor to see, 
among whom Death is robbed of none of its terrors by 
the coarse familiarity with which it is treated. With 
them funerals are too often a time of great rowdiness, 
and ' a beautiful corpse ' a fit spectacle for all the neigh- 
bours — even the youngest child — to be invited to see. 
Death treated as a tender mother- woman, hidden in the 
cold grey vastness surrounding her, was a bright idea, 
producing, perhaps, greater modesty about the great 
mystery. ' That's the best of the whole lot, to my mind,' 
came, after a long gaze, from a pale, trouble-stricken 
man, whose sorrows Sleep had not always helped to 
bear, whose loveless life had made Death's enfolding 
arms seem wondrous kind. 

Sometimes there were discussions as to which was 
Sleep and which Death, ended once summarily by the 



116 PEACTICABLE SOCIALISM 

loudly expressed opinion, ' It don't much matter which. 
I don't call it proper, anyhow, to see a man pickaback of 
an angel ! ' — a hypercritical sense of propriety which 
was hardly to be expected from the appearance of the 
critic. 

Munkacsy's picture of the 'Lint Pickers,' lent by Mr. 
J. S, Forbes, aroused much interest. In the catalogue, 
after a short account of the artist's life and works, it was 
described thus : ' A soldier, with a bandaged leg, is tell- 
ing the story of the war to the women and children who 
are picking lint to dress wounds. The different feelings 
with which the news is received are shown with wonder- 
ful skill in the different faces. Some are waiting to hear 
the worst ; another has already heard it, and can only 
bury her face in her hands. To others it is but an inter- 
esting story ; while the little child is only intent on his 
basket of lint. 

Man's inhumanity to man 

Makes countless thousands mourn.' 

The gloom of the picture, the utter dejection of the 
workers, relieved nowhere by a gleam of light — even the 
child (around whom Hope might have hovered) finding a 
grim plaything in the lint — all combine to tell the tale of 
what the artist evidently felt — the cruelty of war. Much 
interest was taken in finding out, amid the darkness, the 
different figures in their various attitudes of active or 
crushed woe. It spoke, though, a little sadly for the want 
of joyousness in East London entertainments that more 
than one sightseer, before reading the catalogue or being 
helped by a verbal explanation, thought ' it was a lot of 
poor people at tea/ 



PICTUEES FOE THE PEOPLE 117 

The frames of all the pictures excited wonder, some- 
times admiration not accorded to the pictures them- 
selves ; and the oft-reiterated questions, ' What, now, is 
it all worth ? How much would it fetch ? ' became a 
little wearisome, not the less so because expressive of one 
of the signs of the times. 

' All beautiful ! and most of them [the pictures] 
done by machinery, I suppose,' showed greater me- 
chanical than artistic appreciation; while the cross- 
examination to which we were put as to why the Exhi- 
bition was held was sometimes interesting rather than 
edifying. * Oh, yes, it '11 pay, sure enough, if you only 
go on long enough,' was one woman's comforting assur- 
ance ; and the answer, ' I hardly see how, considering 
that it is open free,' carried so little force to her mind 
that its only effect was to make her repeat her belief in a 
still more confidently cheery tone. But many and hearty 
were the thanks that were given at the end of some 
such chats ; and the gentlemen who explained the 
pictures and talked to the little groups which quickly 
gathered round ' some one who would tell about it 
all ' were more than once offered reward-money — a 
flattering tribute to their powers, and illustrative of 
the living sense of justice in the workman's mind 
and the conviction that * the labourer is worthy of his 
hire.' 

The pathetic pictures were, perhaps, the most generally 
appreciated. Israel's * Day before the Departure,' lent 
by Mr. J. S. Forbes, was described thus : * The widow, 
utterly sad, has shut her Bible and seems heartbroken 
and hopeless. The child does not understand every- 
thing, but she knows her mother is sorry ; the toy is 



118 PRACTICABLE SOCIALISM 

forgotten, while she nestles close in her desire to com- 
fort. Her love may be the light which will brighten 
the future,' often reduced the beholders to sympathetic 
silence ; while warm was the praise given to Salentin's 
1 Foundling,' a pretty picture of an old yeoman giving 
the forsaken babe into the arms of his kindly daughters. 
The bright evening sky, the tender springtime, the 
interest of the farm-boy, and the curiosity of the sheep, 
all hopefully express that the little one's short, trou- 
blous day is over, and that its happier spring-time has 
dawned. 

* Our Father's House,' by Wilfrid Lawson : the little, 
ragged girl peeping wistfully round the church pillar 
at the fashionably dressed congregation, who too often 
monopolise ' Our Father's House,' had always around it 
some quiet and earnest students. It aroused in them, 
perhaps, the sleeping sense, now so often forgotten that 
it is almost ignored, that the church is the people's posses- 
sion, and, maybe, it awakened the hope, deep down (if 
sometimes visionary) in every breast, of the coming of 
the ' good time ' when all class and unworthy distinctions 
will be lost in the Father's presence. 

Israel's works, of which in the last Exhibition there 
were five, were duly appreciated, not perhaps by the 
mass, but by the more thoughtful of the spectators. 
' The Canal Boat, a picture full of sadness ; the man and 
woman look weary and worked. Nature is in tune with 
their hard life ; still there is progress,' said the cata- 
logue. I overheard one man say, ' Ah ! poor chap, he's 
got into a wrong current, but he'll get out all right. 
Pull away.' The picture, sketchy as it was, had taught 
in Israel's style the lesson he loves to give — the pain 



PICTUEES FOE THE PEOPLE 119 

and dreariness of life interlaced with the bright thread 

of hope — 

Which is out of sight : 
That thread of all-sustaining beauty, 
Which runs through all and doth all unite. 

Mr. Walter Crane's picture of * Ormuzd and Ahriman,' 
which he kindly lent, awoke much interest. The people 
read, or had read to them, the description which told 
that the Persians believed in two gods — the god of good, 
Ormuzd; the god of evil, Ahriman — and how the pic- 
ture expressed the fight between the two ; a fight going 
on in every nation and every heart, all nature being 
represented as standing still during the conflict ; while 
the river of time wound gently on past the ruins of the 
Memnons, the Acropolis, the Grove, the Altar, and the 
Abbey — the symbols of the world's great religions. * I 
expect that's true, but we don't seem to see much of 
thejight about here,' was one cogent remark. Most fre- 
quently, though, a picture will draw forth no expression 
— for with the unlettered all expression is difficult, and 
we know how, in the presence of death, of a grand sun- 
set, or of anything deeply moving, silence seems most 
fitting. 

Sometimes, though, one overhears talks which reveal 
much. Mr. Schmalz's picture of ' Forever ' had one even- 
ing been beautifully explained, the room being crowded 
by some of the humblest people, who received the ex- 
planation with interest, but in silence. The picture 
represented a dying girl to whom her lover has been 
playing his lute, until, dropping it, he seemed to be 
telling her with impassioned words that his love is 
stronger than death, and that, in spite of the grave and 



120 PRACTICABLE SOCIALISM 

separation, he will love her forever. I was standing 
outside the Exhibition in the half-darkness, when two 
girls, hatless, with one shawl between them thrown round 
both their shoulders, came out. They might not be 
living the worst life ; but, if not, they were low down 
enough to be familiar with it and to see in that only the 
relation between men and women. The idea of love 
lasting beyond this life, making eternity real, a spiritual 
bond between man and woman, had not occurred to them 
until the picture with the simple story was shown them. 
' Eeal beautiful, ain't it all ? ' said one. ' Ay, fine, but 
that "Forever," I did take on with that,' was the 
answer. Could anything be more touching? What 
work is there nobler than that of the artist who, by his 
art, shows the degraded the lesson that Christ Himself 
lived to teach ? 

The landscapes were, perhaps, the pictures least 
cared for ; and this is not to be wondered at, consider- 
ing how little the poorer denizens of our large towns can 
know of the country, or of nature's varied and peculiar 
garbs, which artists delight to illustrate. ' How far is it 
to that place?' was eagerly asked before a picture of 
Venice, by E. M. Chevalier, a picture of which the 
description told how the Grand Canal was the * White- 
chapel Eoad ' of Venice, and further explained the rela- 
tionship of gondolas to omnibuses and cabs — a relation- 
ship not understood at once by the untravelled world. 
' Would it cost much money to go and see that ? ' was 
often provoked by such pictures as Elijah Walton's 
picture of ' Crevasses in the Mer de Glace,' kindly lent 
by Mr. H. Evill, or Mr. Croft's ' Matterhorn,' lent by 
Mr. T. L. Devitt, and described : ' A peak in the Alps 



PlCTtJBES FOIt THE PEOPLE 121 

too steep for snow, and until lately too steep for 
mountaineers. Chains have now been placed at the 
most difficult places, and several English ladies have 
reached the top. The artist shows the loneliness of 
greatness : — 

The solemn peaks but to the stars are known, 
But to the stars, and to the cold lunar beams ; 
Alone the sun rises, and alone 

Spring the great streams. — Matthew Abnold.' 

With the knowledge of the indifference, because of 
the unhelped and inevitable ignorance of the town poor 
in respect to landscape art, special pains were taken 
with the descriptions, endeavours being made to connect 
the landscape with some idea with which they were 
already familiar, or to connect it with some moral asso- 
ciation which would attract notice to its qualities ; for 
instance, Mr. John Brett's ' Philory, King of the Cliffs/ 
was brought nearer to the spectators by the suggestion 
that ' the coast of England was, like its people, cool and 
strong, and not to be hurt by a storm ' ; and Mr. W. 
Luker's picture of ' Burnham Beeches,' lent by Mr. S. 
Winkworth, gained in interest because the catalogue said 
it was ' A forest near Slough, about eighteen miles from 
London, bought by the City of London, and made the 
property of the people.' 

Mr. W. S. Wyllie's ' Antwerp,' a grey, flat picture, 
had its idea partly embodied in ' Sea and land seemed 
to end in the cathedral spire ' ; while the familiar pro- 
verb, ' It is an iH wind that blows nobody good,' drew 
attention to Mr. W. C. Nakkens's * Harvesting in Holland '; 
and the suggestion that ' the horses are enjoying the 



122 PRACTICABLE SOCIALISM 

wind which is blowing up the rain, the farmer's enemy 
in harvest/ showed the standpoint from which the picture 
could be looked at. 

Not that the catalogue was intended to contain ex- 
haustive explanations of the pictures, but only indications 
of the lines along which the people could make their 
own discoveries. Full, however, as some of the descrip- 
tions were, they were not full enough to prevent mis- 
conceptions. A little copy of Tintoretto, lent by Mr. E. 
Bale, depicting the visit and embrace of the Virgin Mary 
and Elisabeth, simply entered in the catalogue as the 
* Meeting of Mary and Elisabeth/ was mistaken for an 
interview between Mary, Queen of Scots, and Queen 
Elizabeth, and produced the reflection, ' I suppose that 
was before they quarrelled, then ' — a sign that historical 
had, in this instance, made more mark than Bible in- 
struction. 

Information about Darwin, concerning whose work 
the catalogue was silent, was finally volunteered by one 
of a little group who pronounced him to be * the Monkey 
Man ' ; and another knew no more about Gladstone 
than that ' he was the chap that followed Lord Beacons- 
field.' 

'Lesbia/ by Mr. J. Bertrand, explained as * A Boman 
girl musing over the loss of her pet bird/ was commented 
on by, * Sorrow for her bird, is it ? I was thinking it 
was drink that was in her ' — a grim indication of the 
opinion of the working classes of their * betters * ; though 
another remark on the same picture, ' Well, I hope she 
will never have a worse trouble/ showed a kindlier 
spirit and perhaps a sadder experience. 

But the catalogue once studied, it was clung to with 



PICTUKES FOR THE' PEOPLE 123 

almost comical persistency. A picture by Jacob Maris, 
lent by Mr. J. S. Forbes, of a * Street in Amsterdam,' 
was next in the catalogue, though not in the room, to 
one of Mr. F. F. Dicksee's of ' Christ walking on the 
Water.' The Amsterdam picture was one in Maris's 
best style — a row of quaint, irregular houses, boats by 
the wharf, still cold water from the midst of which a 
post protruded, catching the light. ' No doubt a fine 
picture,' commented a spectator, * but it requires a deal 
of imagination.' * Why ? I don't see that ; it's plain 
enough : there are the ships, houses, wharf,' explained 
a friendly neighbour. ' Yes, I see all them ; but it's the 
rest of it that wants the imagination.' Further pause, 
and then, * Oh ! I see ; I've got the wrong number ; I 
thought it was " Christ walking on the Water " — that's 
what I was looking for.' 

The historical or domestic pictures, such as J. B. 
Burgess's * Presentation,' the English ladies visiting the 
house of a Moor who is presenting his children to them ; 
or Edwin Long's 'Question of Propriety,' the priests 
watching the dancing-girl to decide if the dance was 
proper or not, perhaps attracted the most immediate 
attention, just in proportion as they told their own tale ; 
but, aided by catalogue or talk, the pictures embodying 
the highest spiritual truths became the most popular. 

The sentiment pervading J. F. Millet's * Angelus ' 
which makes prayer — the communion with the 'Be- 
setting God ' — at evening time, ' Earth's natural vesper 
hour,' seem right and fitting was an unspoken sermon 
beyond their comprehension as art critics, but within 
their reach as men and women capable of communion 
with the highest. And, at present, when ordinary 



124 PRACTICABLE SOCIALISM 

religious influences appear to make so sadly little im- 
pression, shall we not use such pictures also as stepping- 
stones towards the truer life ? 

Some amount of fine art is now lost to the world 
because the construction of most modern houses puts 
narrow limits to the size of pictures. 'We are often 
unable to express our best ideas for want of room,' I 
was told by a living artist whom this or any age would, 
I think, call great ; and another painter has had what 
he considers his finest picture left on his hands because 
it is too big for any drawing-room and most galleries. 

Is there not a double work here for the rich to do ? 
Might they not, by buying such pictures, encourage the 
artists to paint their best thoughts, whatever size they 
require, thus making the world richer by enabling it to 
possess a little more of the knowledge gained by those 
who * hang on to the sunskirts of the Most High ' ? 
Might they not put them as gifts or loans on the walls 
of churches or hospitals, making bare walls speak great 
truths, not the less audible because of the murmur of 
the people's thanks, real, if unheard by the donors ? 

Pictures will not do everything. They will not save 
souls, for * it takes a life to save a life ' ; but shall such 
works be kept only for the amusement or passing in- 
terest of the rich? Shall not we, who care that the 
people should have life and fuller life, press them into 
the service of teaching ? Words, mere words, fall flat 
on the ears of those whose imaginations are withered 
and dead ; but art, in itself beautiful, in ideas rich, 
they cannot choose but understand, if it be brought 
within their reach. 

Art may do much to keep alive a nation's fading 



PICTURES FOR THE PEOPLE 125 

higher life when other influences fail adequately to 
nourish it ; and how shall we neglect it in these hard 
times of spiritual starvation? In Mrs. Browning's 
words 

' The artist keeps up open roads between the seen and the 
unseen. Art is the witness of what is behind the show.* 

Henrietta 0. Barnett. 



126 PKACTICABLE SOCIALISM 



VIII. 

THE YOUNG WOMEN IN OUR WORK- 
HOUSES. 1 

Those of us who have ever entered a workhouse will not 
easily forget some of the sad impressions then made upon 
the mind. We remember the large, dreary wards — 

The walls so blank, 
That my shadow I thank 
For sometimes falling there — 

the cleanliness which is oppressive, the order which tells 
of control in every detail. But, gloomy as these things 
are, they are but the necessary surroundings of many of 
the people who come to end their days amid them. On 
their faces is written failure ; having been proved use- 
less to the world, they are cast away out of sight, and 
too often out of mind, on to this sad rubbish-heap 
of humanity. 

A closer inspection of this rubbish-heap, however, 
shows that it is not all worthless. Besides the many 
whom dissolute, improvident, or vicious courses bring 
to the workhouse, there are some who are more sinned 
against than sinful ; some who are merely unfortunate, 

1 Beprinted, by permission, from Macmillan's Magazine, August 1879. 



THE YOUNG WOMEN IN OUE WORKHOUSES 127 

and who by a little wise help, wisely given, may become 
useful members of society. 

It is of the young, single women that I would 
specially speak. Those whom one finds in the work- 
house are usually there for one of three reasons. First, 
in order to seek shelter when about to become mothers ; 
secondly, because they are driven thither by the evil re- 
sults of profligacy ; thirdly, because having failed in life 
they choose to enter there rather .than to sin or to starve. 
It is of the first and third classes that I now write, for 
the second class is being dealt with, if not efficiently, 
at least earnestly, by many societies founded for that 
purpose. 

From June 1877 to June 1878 in the seven unions 
of East London alone there have been no less than 253 
young girl-mothers who have entered the infirmaries. 

Some enter a few months before their confinement, 
driven to that inhospitable shelter from the sense of the 
value of their remaining character. And here a word is 
required as to the neglect of any proper method of classifi- 
cation. There should be in all our workhouses accommo- 
dation which would allow of the separation of characters 
among classes ; and power and encouragement should be 
given to the master and matron to carry this plan into 
effectual working. The more respectable of the young 
women might be placed under the supervision of one of 
the staff, so that the time which necessarily elapses before 
they can be again sent out should be to them a time of 
instruction in what is good and desirable, instead of, as 
it now too often is, a time when they are corrupted by 
the evil influence of others worse than themselves. 

But these 253 —what becomes of them ? On their 



128 PRACTICABLE SOCIALISM 

recovery they cannot remain in the infirmary , and must 
be sent to the able-bodied house, there to live on prison 
fare and to associate with the criminal and wilfully idle. 
Bather than do this many a young woman prefers to go 
out, taking her three-weeks-old babe with her, resolved 
to ' get on ' as best she can. That ' best ' is often the 
' worst.' With her character gone, with two mouths to 
feed instead of one, and with the loss of self-respect 
rapidly following the loss of the respect of others, the 
unfortunate mother too often falls into hopeless vice ; 
or, perhaps, the giant temptation presents itself of sacri- 
ficing the little wailing life which stands between her 
and respectability. Unhelped, unencouraged as they 
are, who can wonder that such mothers, so sorely tried, 
sometimes fall, and that the crime of infanticide is 
horribly rife ? 

But, frequent as such results are, the end is not always 
thus tragic ; the ruined girl often returns to her father's 
house and to the same conditions of life as before she 
fell. But this course, though not so apparently bad, is 
yet often very harmful. Her presence familiarises the 
younger members with vice, an unadvisable familiarity ; 
for vice, while it gains much attractive power, gains also 
more deterrent force by its mystery in the minds of the 
young. 

Sometimes the unwedded mother, on leaving the 
workhouse, honestly tries to get work at sack-making, 
factory- work, anything which will enable her to keep her 
little one near her ; but it is a hard, an almost impos- 
sible task. The care of the child impedes the work, and 
thus it has to be put out to daily nurse. The ignorance, 
if not the apathy, of its badly paid nurse and the un- 



THE YOUNG WOMEN IN OUE WORKHOUSES 129 

suitability of its food too often combine to extinguish the 
little flame which was burning to guide its mother back to 
virtue by the paths of love and self-control. 

These, briefly, are some of the present evils which 
beset the lives of the young women who become mothers 
in our workhouses. 

It was to cure some of such evils that a few ladies 
associated themselves together in the spring of 1876. 
We bound ourselves by no rules or bye-laws, for the 
work is one which is entirely of an individual nature. 
Strong personal influence has to be brought to bear on 
each applicant, with a distinct and definite object in view, 
suggested by the character of the woman and the circum- 
stances of the case. There have been, unfortunately, 
changes in our workers, but we have continued to visit, 
with fair regularity, both the infirmary and able-bodied 
house of our Union. When work is necessarily left so 
largely to individual initiative, depending on the character 
of the worker, each lady must, naturally, adopt her own 
method of doing it. Some feel that they can do more 
for the girls by changing the circumstances of their 
lives, while others can do more with them by arousing 
their dormant moral natures and filling them with 
enthusiasm for good. But all ways of doing the work 
are needed, the more diverse the means the larger the 
number of women likely to be reached. The very 
diversity of the means makes it difficult, however, to 
write about the work as it is done by all the co-operators. 
It is, therefore, well that I should speak only of my own 
plan and experiences. 

I visit about once a week, and see alone in a room, 
which the matron kindly lends for the purpose, each girl 



130 PRACTICABLE SOCIALISM 

who has expressed a wish to lead a good life. After 
talking to her and learning of her antecedents, her state- 
ments are sent to the Charity Organisation Society to 
be verified. I try to learn something of her character, 
of the ideal she has of her own life, of the plans she 
has made for the future, of the kind and manner of good 
which appears to her most attractive and desirable. On 
receipt of the Eeport of the Charity Organisation Society 
each girl is dealt with in accordance with her past life ; 
she who has suffered from the allurements and excite- 
ments of the town is sent into the country, being 
placed where the monotony and peace will protect her 
from herself ; she who has for long lived a lawless and 
undisciplined life is induced to enter a Home or Eefuge, 
where order and control -will teach her the unlearnt 
lessons; while sometimes it is possible to get for her 
for whom drink has been too strong a situation with a 
teetotal family, who will help her by example as well as 
principle. For the woman whose maternal feeling wants 
frequent contact with her child to invigorate it a place 
is got where the mistress, knowing all the facts, will allow 
her servant often to see the little one ; while the mother, 
whose sense of shame is stronger than her love for the 
child, is sent to a place far removed from the caretaker 
of her baby, trusting that the money which she weekly 
sends for it will keep in remembrance the sin of which 
she has been guilty and the innocent result of it. 

It is a common idea that the only way of helping 
women sunk so low as these is to send them to Homes. 
This idea I would like to modify. Homes are very 
valuable in giving girls the opportunities of re-earning a 
character when, as they themselves say, they have ' no 



THE YOUNG WOMEN IN OUR WORKHOUSES 131 

■ 

one to speak for them.' Still, in all these cases where 
the fault which brought them to the workhouse (serious 
as it may be) has not undermined the whole character, 
it is, perhaps, better to send them at once to service. 
In their mistresses' houses they are, unconsciously, 
guarded from the grosser temptations which lone girls 
have to meet, being guided by influence rather than 
rule. The regular, if at times too hard, work of service 
demanded by the varying interests and needs of a 
family is the greatest help to a healthy tone of mind. 
In a good home they see family life in all its beauty, they 
see the commonplace virtues in a beautiful and attractive 
setting, and the kindliness which is engendered between 
the served and the server helps the poor stumbling soul 
along the path of duty over many a rough and difficult 
place. ' Oh ! ma'am/ a girl said the other day, ' the 
missus's baby is such a dear ; he do make me forget 
such a lot ; ' a forgetfulness which was in her case the 
first necessary step towards a fairer future. 

It is a good rule to tell every circumstance, however 
trivial, to the mistress, so that she can become in her 
turn the guardian of her servant against the besetting 
sin ; and all honour be to those many ladies who have 
so generously come forward to take these girls into their 
own homes, sometimes giving them more wages than 
their services warranted, often helping them with clothes 
both for themselves and their children, and giving them 
too that priceless sympathy which outweighs every other 
gift. Such help saves more pain and makes more right- 
eousness than big, barren subscriptions to far-off insti- 
tutions; for 

The gift without the giver is bare. 



132 PRACTICABLE SOCIALISM 

If the girl has been a servant before, she can obtain 
151. or 16Z. a year ; out of this she can pay 4$. or 4s. 6d. 
a week, and her lady friend can assist her by paying 1*. 
or 6d. a week towards her baby's support. If the girl 
has never been a servant, it is necessary that she should 
enter service at a much lower wage. She must then 
get more money assistance, the sum being decided by 
the rough estimate that she should pay two-thirds of her 
money, whatever it is. 

The small payment has many advantages ; it enables 
the mother to disassociate herself from her past * cor- 
rupting association ; it assists her lady friend to keep 
up constant communication with her, whereby she is 
enabled to advise about her future, her change of place, 
her friends ; and it also enables a watchful eye to be 
kept on the little one. Its nurse coming weekly to 
receive the money can tell of its progress, the lady can 
see if it is well cared for, and can by her interest en- 
courage the nurse to do her best. As a rule the care- 
takers become very fond of their little charges. In one 
instance the mother having, alas ! again returned to evil 
ways, the nurse continued to keep the baby without 
payment, jealously guarding him against his mother, 
' who might harm him when in drink.' Another woman 
came to ask for a nurse-child because, she said, she had 
had fourteen children of her own, and now that they 
were all out in the world, * her old man said it was so 
lonesome-like.' It is important, too, to choose the nurse 
carefully, for she has frequently a great influence on the 
mother, who will naturally be more inclined to listen to 
the wise words of one who is ' good to her baby ' than 
to any mere well-wisher. The mother by this means 



THE YOUNG WOMEN IN OUR WORKHOUSES 133 

gains a respectable friend of her own class, in many 
cases the first she has ever known. In one instance the 
nurse did what others had failed to do. The mother was 
one of those people to whom pleasure is as necessary as 
food and air. Among happier surroundings her sense of 
fun and capacity for enjoyment would have been a source 
of brightness, and rendered her a general favourite. For 
those in her sphere of life joy is an element considered 
unnecessary, and thus is a dangerous luxury. She had 
no desire to do wrong nor to offend, but pleasure she 
must have, and not being able to obtain it innocently, she 
took it lawlessly. Such conduct mistresses rightly would 
not allow, and she reached the workhouse when her boy 
was about three years old. There seemed to be no trace 
of affection for the child, nor any feeling beyond a sense 
of irritation at its helplessness and a desire to get it 
' into a home,' and to be rid of the attendant responsi- 
bility. This last idea it was impossible to entertain, for 
responsibility might become her schoolmaster, and lead 
her up 'the difficult blue heights.' 

She was a thorough general servant; hence there 
was little difficulty in getting her into a place. A home 
for the boy was found, with a most demonstrative and 
affectionate nurse, who rarely spoke of him except as a 
' pretty lamb/ and who loudly and frequently called on 
all to admire him. Little by little this influenced the 
young mother, who began to be interested in the much- 
talked-of and cared- for baby. The deducted wages were 
more cheerfully rendered for its support, and as love ob- 
tained admittance to her heart, and all the many cares 
which accompanied a child brought interest into her life, 
there became less need for the outside pleasures. The 



134 PRACTICABLE SOCIALISM 

craving for enjoyment found satisfaction in giving joys 
to the baby boy. 

It would be easy to give many instances of the suc- 
cess of this work, but one or two will suffice. Jane, a 
motherless girl of sixteen, brought up in a rough, low- 
class home, and sent to earn her bread before she could 
well distinguish good from evil — what wonder that she 
came into the only asylum open to her, harmed by the first 
man who had ever shown her a kindness ? She appeared 
indifferent to her fate, but she showed such passionate 
and self-giving devotion to the child that it seemed pos- 
sible that the mother's character would be awakened by 
her feelings. They were accordingly placed in a house 
where they could be together ; the child soon died, and 
Jane having greatly improved, she was sent to a situation, 
where she is doing well, and has got again some of the 
brightness of youth. 

Emma, a woman of twenty-six, had for some years 
lived abroad with a man who promised her 'English 
marriage,' but who, on reaching England, basely de- 
serted her. Characterless and unknown as she was, she 
tried in vain to get work to support herself and child ; 
and at last, half dead with privation, she entered the 
' House.' She had not a reference to give, nor a friend 
to apply to, but she did so thoroughly and well the work 
which the Matron gave her, and so earnestly pleaded to 
have a trial, that, trusting in my opinion of her sincerity, 
a good woman in the country took her as servant, who 
now, after two years of trial, writes to ask that other ser- 
vants may be sent to her ' as good as Emma.' Her boy 
is placed in a village a few miles off, and all the holidays, 
most of the money, and many of the spare moments 



THE YOUNG WOMEN IN OUR WORKHOUSES 135 

are given to him, in whom is treasured the one bright 
memory of her dreary past. 

But of each girl that is helped such pleasant stories 
cannot be told. There are many failures : women whose 
resolution deserts them before the old temptations, whose 
promises are as lightly broken as they were earnestly 
made ; girls whose ill companions offer them bright if 
lawless lives, and who leave the new hard ways for the 
well-known aimless, careless life. 

But, in spite of many failures, the work is hopefully 
continued in the belief, founded on experience, that the 
idle can be induced to work and learn through daily 
labour the gospel which work teaches ; that the coarse- 
minded can yet see the beauty of holiness if it is shown 
greatly and plainly ; that the ignorant can yet be taught 
if patience be given ; that the careless may yet be cir- 
cumspect if cared for. Failures and disappointments 
are inevitable when the aim is not to make a temporary 
improvement, but to raise the ideas and radically change 
the habits of a class, to help whom there has hitherto been 
so little effort made. 

But there is yet the third class of girls who have 
been cast by the wave of misfortune into the workhouse. 
These are not touched by the societies for befriending 
young servants, for many have never been servants, and 
some have started on their career before the societies 
were formed. Some come in because their parents 
break up their homes and altogether ' enter the House.' 
In such a plight was poor Martha, a sickly girl of 
eighteen, too crippled to be fit for manual work. Her 
father was dead ; her mother was so drunken that the 
workhouse was for her the only resort ; and thither she 



136 PRACTICABLE SOCIALISM 

came bringing her children with her, and among them 
the poor weak Martha. The other children were sent to 
the district schools, but the cripple was too old to go 
there. There was nothing for her but to drag on a love- 
less, cheerless life and make her home in that unhomely 
place. She was a bright willing lassie, but her labour, 
such as it was, was not needed there, where she was but 
one of the many useless ones who help to give trouble 
and swell the rates. She was deft with her fingers and 
capable, if not of entirely supporting herself, still of 
adding wealth to the world by her work. A home was 
soon found for her where she could be taught straw-basket 
work, and on drawing the attention of the Guardians to 
her case, they at once consented to pay for the training. 
We occasionally see her. She has been taught to read 
and write, and to make bonnets and baskets quickly and 
well. She is very happy, and, though sighing when 
speaking of the workhouse, she adds in the same breath, 
' The Matron was real good to me there.' 

Some seek the workhouse because, having lost their 
places and being alone in the world, they know not where 
else to go. Some having drifted there more than once 
arouse the contempt and antagonism of the officers ; and 
these, unloving and indifferent because unloved, lose all 
hope and interest, and grow stubborn and hard. To 
these girls the lady must show herself their friend, and 
awaken their interest in life. One girl was sent to me, 
not yet twenty-one, who had passed through innumerable 
Situations, who had been for six years in and out of the 
House continually, and who had once been sent to prison 
for a breach of the necessary discipline. She was pro- 
nounced ' incorrigible ' by the authorities. I confess to 



THE YOUNG WOMEN IN OUR WORKHOUSES 137 

having felt powerless to work her reformation when I 
saw her. Her stubborn set face, her downcast dull eyes, 
her stolid refusal to speak in reply to whatever was said, 
her apathy on all subjects made me feel that I had not 
a chance of touching her. I tried all ways, but at last 
aroused her by asking her to do something for me. The 
God-born sense of helpfulness in her awoke her sleeping 
soul. She felt she cared for the one person in all the 
world whom she had ever helped, and that affection has 
been her * saving grace.' She is now earning 12J. a year, 
more, as she says, than she had 'earned in two years 
afore,' and her face, manners, and character are rapidly 
improving. She comes to me to help her to choose her 
new clothes, and I could not but be satisfactorily amused 
when the 'incorrigible' pauper insisted on having a 
'high art' coloured dress, declaring that none of the 
others suggested were 'half so pretty.' Many such 
stories could be told, many beginning brightly and end- 
ing sadly, some turning out better than their commence- 
ment would have justified us in hoping. One poor 
child, motherless and worse than fatherless, after a short 
training in a Home, is now in service, and paying towards 
the support of her younger sister ; another has a con- 
science so awakened as to make her hesitate for long as 
to her right to be confirmed because of the sin ignorantly 
committed which brought her to the rates, while tales 
could be told of women, rough and untutored, who have 
joyfully taken the hard, self-restraining path which leads 
to righteousness, and who, having once been given great 
ideals, receive them as new truths, and patiently (pathe- 
tically so among their rude surroundings) endeavour to 
live up to them. 



138 PRACTICABLE SOCIALISM 

Enough may have been said to induce other ladies to 
adopt the work. Taking the figures of the last two years' 
work at one workhouse, we have seen 141 women. Of 
these we have sent out, to service or to work, ninety-five ; 
and out of these only five have again returned to the 
workhouse. Of many we have lost sight, which is not to 
be wondered at when the ignorance of the women of this 
class is considered. A letter is to them a thing to be 
much pondered, but rarely attempted. Some, after long 
silences, reappear to ask advice in some temporary diffi- 
culty or to tell of progress made. Many remain close 
friends, coming to call on every holiday or writing long 
and affectionate letters. One wrote the other day a stilted 
letter of thanks * for having altered her position in the 
world for one of more sterling worth.' Her future did 
look gloomy when first we became acquainted. She was 
the daughter of a seaside lodging-house keeper, brought 
up in a cheap (and nasty !) boarding-school, and sent to 
London, with many false ideas about work, and some 
true ones about wickedness, to earn her living in any 
' genteel ' employment. Her superficial education did 
not help her, and she came down lower and lower, till at 
last, finding herself in a lodging-house of doubtful repu- 
tation, she rightly chose the workhouse in preference to 
remaining there. Her widowed mother, unable to keep 
her, and fearful that her frivolities would influence badly 
her younger sisters, refused to receive her home. Her 
fine-ladyism and ignorance of any sort of household work 
were an effectual barrier to her taking service, while her 
sorry education prevented her even trying to teach. 
Service seemed to be the best opening for her, and the 
life best calculated to keep her straight. With some 



THE YOUNG WOMEN IN OUE WOKKHOUSES 139 

difficulty she was persuaded to look at it in this light, and 
then induced to enter a servants' training home. She 
has earned good testimonials there, and is now a happy 
and useful servant. 

The work is in itself simple, and yet has issues im- 
portant, not only to the individuals helped, but to the 
community at large, for it tends to lessen pauperism, 
prostitution, and infanticide. It would be well if every 
lady of England were to consider how she can take part 
in it. If she is not herself able to visit the workhouse, 
she can, perhaps, open her house and heart to one of 
these girls who so sadly need such protection and care. 
Or, if that be impossible, she might undertake to be- 
friend one of them. 

Around every workhouse a committee of ladies might 
be formed. The meetings need not, perhaps, be formal 
nor frequent, but merely friendly gatherings to compare 
experience and to discuss reports of the work done. 
The visiting of the workhouse is, perhaps, for reasons 
which will be appreciated by those who are familiar with 
official establishment, better left to two or three of the 
members who, after seeing the girls and learning their 
histories, should pass one or more to each member of the 
committee to provide for. Every lady might be a member 
of such a committee. Every woman can befriend an- 
other, and perhaps may be the more moved to do so 
when she who needs the help is a girl no older than her 
own daughter in the schoolroom. There are few who 
cannot help the work of such committees by contributing 
Is. a week for the helping of one little baby. Every one 
can spare a little of that loving care, can give a little of 



140 PRACTICABLE SOCIALISM 

that all-saving friendship which so lavishly surrounds the 
life of most of us. 

The work, too, is one which married ladies with homes, 
families, and social duties can easily take up. Women 
in this position are debarred from much work for the 
poor, because their natural and more sacred duties 
forbid them to run risks of infection or to take up work 
which would necessitate the devoting* of a regular fixed 
day. But from both these disadvantages the work now 
under consideration is quite free. In the workhouse the 
visitor is safe from infection ; the visits can be made at any 
time, for the women are always there, and there is always 
somebody waiting to be helped whenever one can go. It 
is, of course, better to fix a regular day for visiting if 
possible, so that those girls who have been seen once 
should be able to anticipate the second visit ; but this is 
not at all essential, and frequently the duties of a mother 
or mistress do not permit of long absences from home. 
This work, excepting the periodical visit to the work- 
house, can be done almost entirely from the writing-table 
in one's own house. It necessitates a good deal of corre- 
spondence in order to insure Obtaining suitable situations 
and respectable nurses ; but it requires comparatively 
little absence from home, for when the girl is once placed, 
the friendly connection can best be established and kept 
up in the lady's own house. There she can receive her 
otherwise friendless visitor ; there she can strengthen 
the gentle bonds already begun in the House ; there she 
can show to the homeless one some of the possibilities of 
home, and by such simple natural acts sow seed which 
will bring forth much good and happiness. 

It is entirely a homely and personal work done in the 



THE YOUNG WOMEN IN OUR WORKHOUSES 141 

home and in the interests of the individual and of the 
family ; one full of elements of difficulty and frequently 
of disappointment and failure. It requires no costly 
machinery : wherever there is one woman who cares for 
other women ; wherever there is a home full of the joys 
of family life ; wherever two or three can meet together 
in common work, there is all the force that is required. 
If in every union -and all its parishes, or even in many 
unions and some of their parishes, those who think that 
the work which has been done by a few working together 
is a useful one will take up their part of the burden as 
it lies near their door, the work may grow. If it grow 
naturally and by no enforced development, its results may 
be larger than can yet be foreseen. New thought may de- 
velop new plans, wider interest may bring wider change. 
Our workhouses may become the means of restoring to 
joy and self-respect many who now leave their walls sad 
and degraded. Society may be strengthened by the new 
link between the envied rich and the unknown pauper, 
a link of unassailable strength being formed of love and 
service. And if none of these things come to pass, the 
effort must still be good which rouses into action a part 
of that family life which in its rest is so beautiful. 

Henrietta 0. Barnett. 



142 PRACTICABLE SOCIALISM 



IX. 



A PEOPLE'S CHURCH.' 

' The object of the British Constitution is to get twelve 
honest men into a jury box,' is an old-fashioned saying, 
which puts shortly enough the far-off end of our laws 
and institutions. The jury box may not itself survive, 
but whatever takes its place must in the same way 
depend on an honest public opinion. The object of the 
British Constitution is to secure freedom for thought 
and honesty among men. When its laws are enforced 
by the service of the citizens, and when the citizens are 
honest, politicians may cease to think of the need of a 
reform. 

Beforms in the Constitution are now urged because 
they will make possibilities for greater honesty and 
greater devotion, but if the possibilities are not used the 
reforms will make little change for the better. A man 
who has a vote may be put within reach of a higher 
virtue, but if he gives his vote dishonestly the reform 
which enfranchised him will not tend to progress. A 
tenant who is secured from eviction, and the landlord 
out of whose hands the power to evict has been taken, 

1 Reprinted, by permission, from the Contemporary Review of 
November 1884. 



A PEOPLE'S CHURCH 143 

may thank the land-law reformers, who have made 
honesty more easy ; but if the tenant uses his power to 
make slaves of his labourers or his children, and the 
landlord his freedom from responsibility to do what he 
likes, the last state will be little better than the first. A 
population which is educated, through the efforts of the 
educational reformers, may have new capacities for virtue ; 
but if they who are educated use their powers only to 
take care of themselves, there may at last be a difficulty 
in getting any to serve as jurymen. 

The self-devotion which makes men willingly leave 
business to do some public duty, and the honesty which 
makes them subject interest to justice, are essential to 
the greatness and happiness of the people. 

No Constitution can, therefore, neglect the means 
which are to develop these qualities. Neglect of duty 
is punished by fines, performance of duty is rewarded 
by the honours of title ; dishonesty is prevented by a 
system of checks, which is ever being elaborated by new 
laws. All such means fail, and it has become a pro- 
verb that virtue cannot be made by Act of Parlia- 
ment. 

The Church is a part of the British Constitution, 
and is the means by which in old days honesty was pro- 
moted ; and if in these modern days the Church fails, its 
failure, at any rate, has given no ground for a corre- 
sponding proverb, that virtue cannot be made by a reli- 
gious agency. The majority still believe that if men 
were spiritually-minded they would care for things that 
are honest, and give themselves to duty in the spirit of the 
saints and puritans. There may be a morality which is 
independent of religion ; but there is still confidence in 



144 PRACTICABLE SOCIALISM 

the power of the Spirit to carry men over the rough road 
of duty. There is still a willingness to trust in spiritual 
agencies to promote morality. 

Stated widely, the Church exists to spiritualise life. 
The ritual and the doctrine, which are often regarded as 
ends, are the means to this further end. A National 
Church exists to connect the life of individuals and the 
life of the nation with the life of God, in Whom all 
fulness is, to fill men with grace and truth, to make 
them to respond to high emotions and settle them on 
eternal calm. Its object is to make men friends, to 
unite all classes in common aims, to give them open 
minds, willing to learn, and to introduce them to what- 
ever is honest and of good report. The Church aims 
to develop the sense of duty through the sense of God. 

That the Church of England should fail to reach 
this object is not surprising. In an age of free trade, 
as a ' protected ' society, it starts at a disadvantage. In 
an age of self-government, as a system which is not 
under popular control, it is suspected. In a democratic 
age, as an aristocratic organisation, it is not under- 
stood. 

Chivalry worked well in its own day. The times 
changed, and there was no room in the new age for 
knights errant. Many were sorry to see it pass away, 
with its swift remedies for wrong, its attractive dress, 
and its power for good. They tried to revive its force, 
and ' Don Quixote ' is a satire on the effort. The good 
man, with all his devotion, was out of place ; the knight 
of the old age was the butt of the new age. Such a 
satire might be made on a Church which tries by old 
forms and through an old constitution to spiritualise 



A PEOPLE'S CHUECH 145 

life. A few followers may be attracted by sentiment, 
clinging to memories of good old times, and by striking 
forms <of devotion ; but the many will be bound to feel 
that the effort with all its beauty is out of place, that 
the realities of the old age have become the pictures of 
the new age. 

The Church of England is not therefore effective to 
spiritualise the life of the nation and to develop honesty 
of living. Its present position is indeed indefensible. 
As a ' Eeformed ' Church, it offers the example of the 
greatest abuses. As a ' Catholic ' Church, it promotes 
the principle of schism. As a ' National ' Church, it is 
out of touch with the nation. 

There is no other department in the State which can 
match the abuses connected with the sale of livings, with 
the common talk about 'preferment 'and 'promotion/ 
with the irremovability of indolent, incapable, and un- 
worthy incumbents, with the restriction of worship to 
words which expressed the wants of another age, and 
with the use of tests to exclude from the ranks of minis- 
ters those called by God to teach in fresh forms the 
newest revelations to mankind. There are no greater 
supporters of the schism from which they pray to be 
delivered than the bishops and clergymen who talk of 
' the Church ' as if it were a sect to promote ' Church of 
England ' societies, and strive to cut off from the body of 
the people a section of its members. There is nothing 
national which so little concerns the nation as its 
Church. By the vast majority of those who are the 
coming rulers, namely, by the working class, the Church 
and its services are unused. The parson may here and 
there be popular as a man ; he may even be regarded as 



146. PEACTICABLE SOCIALISM 

of some use to take the chair at meetings to get up 
charitable societies and promote the education or the 
amusement of the people. He is not, though, looked to 
for the help he can give to life, and it is not through 
him that the people hope to get vice put down, virtue 
promoted, and life spiritualised. 

The place of the Church in the Constitution is for- 
gotten ; so when there is a complaint that impurity is 
sapping the strength of the nation, or that cheating is 
ruining trade, or that selfishness is making men scamp 
work, it is not the clergy who are called on to do their 
duty and make a cure, but a new society is formed or a 
new law is demanded, and the clergy are not even rebuked 
for neglect. No one seems to expect that a Church, 
nominally co-extensive with the nation, which is esta- 
blished to spiritualise life, should do its work. The 
position is indefensible. Those politicians who are moved 
only by agitation may say, ' The condition of the Church 
is not one of practical politics/ and pass on. The greater 
number realising that the ultimate conflict is between 
those who would govern with God and those who would 
govern without God, and anxious that the Church should 
be effective for its purpose, are quietly making up their 
minds to one of two solutions — Disestablishment or 
Eeform. 

The present means for making the people virtuous or 
honest fail. ' Disestablish/ urge the Liberationists. ' Let 
the clergy of the Church be stirred by competition and 
roused by interest, and we shall have better results.' 
* Let the connection with the State continue/ say the 
Eeformers ; * let the abuses be eradicated, but leave the 
teachers of the nation to be moved by duty and not by 



A PEOPLE'S CHUECH 147 

bigotry or sectarian rivalry.' These two solutions for 
making effective the means of developing honesty offer 
themselves for examination. It is worthy of remark that 
the common arguments for Disestablishment, except 
those urged by the opponents of all religion, hardly touch 
the principle of Establishment. Secularists urge that 
religion being useless «.nd spirituality a fancy, it is no 
business of the State to\do anything to spiritualise the 
life of its members as a m&ans to increase virtue. Their 
position is unassailable, and. the day on which the nation 
decides that God has no relation to life, the Church as a 
spiritualising agency must be) disestablished, its buildings 
turned into lecture-halls, arid its endowments devoted to 
the reduction of the national debt or to the teaching of 
art and science. 

The position of the Secularists is occupied by few. 
The ordinary advocate of Disestablishment is anxious 
that the life of the nation may be spiritualised, but he 
sees that the Church is ineffective, he marks its abuses, 
its rivalry with the sects, and its assumption of supe- 
riority. He argues that its ineffectiveness and its 
assumption are due to its connection with the State, and 
urges that Disestablishment alone will sweep out the 
abuses. He condemns abuses but he cannot condemn a 
principle which affirms the duty of the State to teach the 
higher life, because he himself has probably approved the 
principle as a supporter of Education Acts, liquor laws, 
and other legislation of a like aim. 

It is allowed by the majority of the people that 
the State should teach the life of prudence, and schools 
are established under local School Boards to teach every 
child, so that he may earn his living. Further, it is 



148 PRACTICABLE SOCIALISM 

allowed that the State should control the forces which, 
for good or evil, may rouse the people, and thus licensing 
boards are established to limit the sale of strong drink. 

The same principle is involved in an Established 
Church. If the State educates the citizens, and admits 
its responsibility for the formation of their characters, 
a line can hardly be drawn at a point which would exclude 
it from giving the people the means which are the best 
security for happiness and for morality. 

The principle of Establishment does not — as its oppo- 
nents often think — assert that a sect has truth ; it 
asserts that the nation has truth, or is seeking it. The 
truth abides in the best thought of the whole nation, and 
the Church is established to express that truth. The 
clergy have no special rights, they are servants appointed 
to do the will of the nation. Truth abides not in ' the 
Church ' of the bishops and clergy nor in a book, it 
abides in the people. Once when it was proposed in the 
House of Commons to refer a matter of doctrine to the 
bishops, ' No, by the faith I bear to God/ said Mr. Went- 
worth, with the approval of the House, ' we will pass 
nothing before we understand what it is, for that were to 
make you Popes.' It is the people, therefore, which by its 
Parliament has settled, and may again settle, the limits 
of teaching and ritual. The clergy are its servants paid 
out of funds set apart for this special purpose. Lord 
Palmerston put it shortly when he said, * The property 
of the Church belongs to the State.' 

The nation, in old language, is holy. The body of 
people called English is set apart for a special service, 
its laws are laws of God, its work is worship, and every 
one of its members owes a duty to God. The memory 



A PEOPLE'S CHUECH 149 

of such a fact was kept alive in Israel where every 
town's meeting was a congregation, every parliament a 
solemn assembly, every law the Word of God, and every 
workman was inspired by the Spirit of God. The 
Jewish nation has been preserved in the Jewish Church. 
That the English nation is holy must also be kept 
alive. The nation, that is, must be a Church and its 
citizens organised for worship. ' The spirit of nationality/ 
says Burke, ' is at once the bond and the safeguard of 
nations ; it is something above laws and beyond thrones, 
the impalpable element, the inner life of states.' In his 
own language Burke asserts the holiness of nations, and 
it is to protect this impalpable element that it becomes 
so important for nations to identify their secular and 
religious aspects, to be at once nations and churches with 
duties to men and to God. 

Disestablishment denies this holiness, and so lets 
escape the strongest element in nationality. Disesta- 
blishment is, moreover, a short-sighted policy, because, 
however great be the measure of Disendowment, it would 
make the Church of England the strongest of the sects. 
In a short time one of the parties now held in union 
within the Establishment would obtain the supremacy, 
and that party would inherit all the power and prestige 
of the position. This party — being only a section of the 
religious body — would pose as the representative of re- 
ligion, and "its clergy would identify their interests with 
the interest of God. Again, there would be some Becket 
to oppose the will of Parliament, and to call some law 
affecting his order ' irreligious/ and a clericalism would 
be let loose to assume, and perhaps make hateful, the 
name of religion. ' Clericalism is the enemy of men/ is 



150 PRACTICABLE SOCIALISM 

a saying which has much truth in it. The pity is if 
clericalism and religion are enabled to seem to be the 
same thing. 

Disestablishment, finally, would intensify the com- 
petition of sects. To make one proselyte, the supporters 
of various forms would compass sea and land. The 
standard of morality would be lowered and the flags of 
doctrine, invented out of will-worship, would be waved to 
bring in rich adherents, and get the use of their money. 
Even, as it is, there is no need to go far to find work, which 
would fall to pieces if the preacher spoke the truth to the 
subscribers about their private life or their tempers. It 
is urged that the congregations in American non-esta- 
blished Churches are large ; it is not urged that the people 
in America are above bribery in politics or above cheat- 
ing in trade. It is not urged that American social life 
is spiritualised, and that is the only fact which would be 
evidence of the good of the system. 

To sum up the case against those who offer Disesta- 
blishment of the Church as an answer to the question, 
' How is the nation to be brought into union with the 
spirit of goodness ? ' it may be urged that — 

1. Disestablishment is a destructive and wasteful 
method of getting rid of abuses, and would destroy the 
power of the State to teach what the State holds to be 
truth. 

2. Disestablishment would establish clericalism, a 
force which more than once in history has made religion 
hateful, and roused for its repression the God-fearing 
men of the nation. 

3. Disestablishment, trusting to competition, would 
leave poor neighbourhoods unhelped. A poor congre- 



A PEOPLE'S CHURCH 151 

gation -could not hope for a church in which worship 
should be stirred by the beauty of sight and sound. An 
ignorant population would not exert itself to get either a 
church or a teacher. The most needy would thus be the 
most neglected. It is only the State which can give with 
equal hand to all its members, and which thus can either 
educate or spiritualise the masses. 

The solution offered by those who say, ' Eeform the 
Church/ remains for examination. 

These, like the religious liberationists, are anxious 
that the instrument for spiritualising life should be 
effective. The Eeformers, though, recognise that this, 
the highest object of any organisation is also the object 
of the State, and can only be attained by means of the 
Constitution. Individuals may be left to provide for the 
wants they have recognised. The State must provide 
for the wants of the higher life and send out teachers 
to tell individuals of things beyond their ken. The 
Church reformers urge, therefore, that the principle of 
Establishment should be retained, but that abuses should 
be eradicated and old-fashioned methods reformed. 

The practical difficulties of reform are doubtless 
many, but they are not insuperable.' Inasmuch as 
Burke has said, 'What is taught by a State Church 
must be decided by the State, and not by the clergy/ 
it is possible to conceive that the nation, and not a sect, 
might determine how truth should be sought and taught. 
Inasmuch as now it is the people who directly or indirectly 
appoint their rulers, it is easy to conceive how the people, 
and not a patron, might have a voice in the choice of the 
parson, and how the parishioners, and not the parson, 
might govern the Church and the parish. There need 



152 PRACTICABLE SOCIALISM 

be no ill-paid, no over-paid, no unworthy incumbent. 
There need be no neglected parish, and a State Church 
might be as effective an organisation for promoting 
spirituality as the State Post-office is for promoting 
intercourse. 

Institutions have survived a greater reform than that 
which is required in the Church, and those who have 
seen the changes which the law-making department of 
the State has endured may without fear submit the 
right-making department to like changes. 

It is no new principle to reform the Eeformed Church. 
By a law of Henry VIII. the king has authority to 'reform, 
correct all errors, heresies and abuses,' and the people's 
Parliament now takes the place of the king. ' The par- 
ticular form of Divine worship,' says the preface to 
Edward VI.'s second Prayer Book, ' and the rites an£ 
ceremonies appointed to be used therein, being in their 
own nature indifferent and alterable, and so acknowledged, 
it is but reasonable, &c. &c.' The Long Parliament 
changed the whole Constitution and Bitual of the Church. 
The Bestoration Parliament undid that work. Through- 
out the seventeenth century the Teaching, the Bitual, and 
the Organisation were discussed as open questions, and 
the present system is the result purely of a Parliamentary 
decision. 

Three hundred years ago, to suit the new age, the 
new birth of learning, the Church was reformed. The 
present times are marked by changes as great as those 
of the Benaissance, and the Church remains unchanged. 
As was the Church of the sixteenth century, so is the 
Church of the nineteenth century. 

The government of England has become popular, 



A PEOPLE'S CHURCH 153 

and the people elect the Parliament which makes the 
laws ; the Church of England is still exclusive, and the 
clergy in ' their ' churches and ' their ' parishes are still 
supreme. 

Freedom has destroyed monopolies ; and, according 
to a rough scale, justice is equally administered. In 
the Church, monopolies still exist, justice is defied in 
arrangements which are for the benefit of the strong, 
and the clergy are a ' protected ' class. 

The language and the fashion of Englishmen have 
changed, but the Church still addresses men with the 
language and the ritual of the Middle Ages. 

The Church, once reformed to suit new needs, the 
rites of which are ' alterable,' has not been made to suit 
the needs of modern times. The Church must be again 
reformed. If details be asked as to the Constitution 
of the Church of the future, if questions rise to men's 
lips, ' What will be done about Bishops ? ' ' Who will 
fix the limits of doctrine ? ' ' How will the rights of 
minorities be considered ? ' the simple answer is that all 
can be settled by the people. The Eeformers of 1832 
did not map out the details of the new government of 
England; they simply gave the power to the people, 
and the people rooted out abuses and reformed the 
administration of law. It will be sufficient to-day if the 
people are admitted to that place in Church government 
which is now usurped by the clergy or their nominees. 
The State is democratic, the Church must also be demo- 
cratic. As the State is governed by the people for the 
people, the Church must be governed by the people for 
the people. 

It is waste of time to make a paper constitution, 



154 PRACTICABLE SOCIALISM 

which often binds the hopes of its makers to one plan. 
Church boards, a popular veto on patronage, or a general 
synod, may be the best means of introducing the people's 
power, but it is not wise to proceed as if the means were 
ends. Church reformers need not advocate any means 
as essential, the one thing essential is to give the people 
power to form their own Church ; to see, in a word, that 
the Church is the people's Church. 

The obstacle to Church reform is not the doubt as to 
its possibility or difference of opinion as to its method. 
The real obstacle is the general indifference to religion. 
The zeal or enthusiasm which passes as religious is most 
often roused by opinions, and, as Wesley said, ' Zeal for 
opinions is not zeal for religion.' In the noise of con- 
troversy and in the hurry of trade the very nature of 
religion seems forgotten. The arguments of theologians 
and the sensationalism of revivalists are discussed as 
religious problems, in which it is well to show an intelli- 
gent interest, but men do not feel that their daily lives, 
the lives of the poor, and the hope of England depend 
on their relation with God. If it were really seen that 
it is on religion, that is, on keeping up the communica- 
tion between the little good within and the great good 
without, between man's broken light and God's full 
light, that trade, happiness, and life depend ; if it were 
seen that England cannot be virtuous till Englishmen 
drink of the Fountain of virtue, then Church reform would 
be undertaken without delay. No difficulty would seem 
too great to prevent the vast resources of the Church 
being brought to the service of religion, and the highest 
intelligence of statesmen would be devoted to making 
perfect the organisation for spiritualising life. 



A PEOPLE'S CHUECH 155 

It may not be in the power of those of less intelli- 
gence to tell the method of reform, but all who are weary 
at the thought of the present condition of the people 
may refresh themselves with hopes. Those who reflect 
on the cheerless faces so common to East London, the 
dull, weary round of the workers, their deathful life and 
their hopeless death, are borne down by the thought that 
each lives in the parish of some Church minister. They 
weary themselves wondering how the servant provided 
by the State might better serve the needs of the poor, 
how the great Church organisation might eradicate unfit 
houses, bring wealth to the relief of poverty, and make 
the means of joy more equal. They ask themselves in 
vain how the house of God might be a house for God's 
children. Unable to answer, they may at any rate 
gladden themselves with an ideal. 

The People's Church then may be so close to the 
best thought of the nation that it will reflect that thought 
in every parish, as the ministers who have gathered light 
from the greatest teachers of science and history direct 
that light on to the lives of the hardest workers. It 
may be so near to every individual that its buildings will 
be the meeting- place of all, the scene of the Holy Com- 
munion, where men will learn to know and love God and 
man. It may so bring together rich and poor, the cul- 
tured and the ignorant, that the efforts and the money 
now fitfully wasted by rival philanthropists will be directed 
to the effectual remedy of ignorance and poverty. The 
ministers of the People's Church may be near to God 
and near to men, a means by which the avenues to the 
highest are kept open, the spiritual teachers who, by 
their lives and doctrines, touch the divine within the 



156 PRACTICABLE SOCIALISM 

human, and make all men respond to the call of right 
and duty, and settle life on eternal calm. 

The conception of such a Church is possible, though 
it is not possible to say how it may be accomplished ; or 
how these competing claims of creeds and rituals to be 
religion may be satisfied ; or how the rights of men and 
the rights of their little systems may be sunk in the 
thought of duty. The organisation of the Church of 
the future is not now to be sketched. The first step 
which it is for this generation to take has been made 
clear. All progress has been through the people, and 
the Church must be in fact, as in name, the people's 
Church. There must be a parish parliament and not a 
parish despot, and the government of the Church must 
be by the people as well as for the people. 

This is the first step, and what will follow is in God's 
counsels. It is the people who govern the nation and 
decide on peace or war. They have moulded the ma- 
chinery by which justice is administered and freedom 
secured ; the people must also mould the machinery by 
which right will be taught and life spiritualised. If 
they are excluded from exercising their will upon the 
Establishment, nothing can hinder them from destroying 
it. God speaks in every age ; He has not forgotten to 
be gracious, and the people are now His instruments, as 
in old days were kings. It is by them His will is being 
done, and in that belief the people may be trusted so to 
order the Church that by its means the Holy Spirit 
will once more show among men the fruit of virtue and 

honesty. 

Samuel A. Barnett. 



157 



X. 



WHAT HAS THE CHARITY ORGANISATION 
SOCIETY TO DO WITH SOCIAL REFORM? 1 

I feel not a little shy at speaking to so large and 
thoughtful a body of workers ; and I should not have 
ventured to accede to Mr. Loch's proposal had I not 
felt myself to be an old friend of the Charity Organisa- 
tion Society. I cannot say that I have ever seen its 
founder, neither was I present at its birth, but I was at 
its christening, when some long names were given ; and 
later, at its confirmation, I heard the duty undertaken, 
and indeed the declaration made, that the main object 
of its existence was ' to improve the condition of the 
poor.' 

I am very proud of our friend ; but, being a Charity 
Organiser, I can see his faults, of which, to my mind, 
one of the chief is that he has forgotten his baptism ! I 
do not mean his name, but some of the promises then 
made for him. Far from forgetting his name, he thinks 
rather too much of it, having fallen into the aristocratic 

1 A Paper read at a meeting of members of the Charity Organisation 
Society, held at the Kensington Vestry Hall on February 28, 1884. 



158 PRACTICABLE SOCIALISM 

fault of believing a name more important than a 
character ; and inasmuch as * on what we dwell that we 
become,' he has run the danger — and we will not say 
wholly escaped it — of sacrificing the one to the other. 
He has, in short, unkindly ignored the thoughts and 
wishes of some of his god-parents. Have not his friends 
a right to be aggrieved ? 

We hear nowadays much about Social Eeform, which, 
being interpreted, means, I suppose, the removal of cer- 
tain conditions in and around society which stand in the 
way of man's progress towards perfection. 

Every human being, surely, ought to be able to make 
a free choice for good or evil. It is, no doubt, possible 
for each of us to choose the higher or the lower life ' in 
that state of life in which it has pleased God to call us * ; 
but the condition of some states keeps the higher life 
very low. 

The moralists may tell about the educating influence 
of resistance to temptations ; but are not temptations 
strong enough in themselves without being buttressed 
by conditions ? Even the most ingenious of Eve's 
apologists has never ventured to advance the view that 
she was hungry. 

It should be a matter of man's free will alone that 
determines which life he lives. Social conditions, over 
which as an individual he has no power, now too often 
determine for him, for there are forces in and around 
society which crush down the individual will of man 
and which bind his limbs so tightly that not only his 
course, but too often his gait, has been determined for 
him. 

1. Great Wealth. — Can a man live the highest life 



CHAEITABLE EFFORT 159 

whose abundance puts out of daily practice the priceless 
privilege of personal sacrifice — from whom effort is 
undemanded — whose floors are padded should he chance 
to fall — whose walls, golden though they be, are dividing 
barriers, high and strong, between him and his fellow- 
men? 

2. Great Poverty. — Can a man live the highest life 
when the preservation of his stunted, unlovely body 
occupies all his thoughts — from whose life pleasure is 
crushed out by ever-wearying work — to whom thought 
is impossible (the brain needs food and leisure to set 
it going) — to whom knowledge, one of the prophets of 
the nineteenth century and a revealer of the Most High, 
is denied ? 

3. Unequal Laws.— Is a man wholly unfettered in his 
choice of life when his country's laws have allowed him 
to become a victim to unsanitary dwellings — when they 
permit him to sin, by providing that his wrong should 
(on himself) be resultless — when its ministers of justice, 
interpreting its laws, declare in the strong tones of 
action that bread-stealing is more wicked than wife- 
beating? Or is the highest life made more possible 
by laws that allow so much of our great mother earth 
— God-blessed for the use of mankind — to be reserved 
for the exclusive benefit and enjoyment of the upper 
classes ? 

4. Division of Classes. — Love is the strongest force 
in the universe. At least the ancient teachers thought 
so when they renamed God, and left Him with the 
Christian name of Love. But love, a certain kind of 
love for which no other makes up, becomes impossible 
by the great division between classes. We cannot love 



160 PRACTICABLE SOCIALISM 

what we do not know ; it is as the American said, ' Oh, 
Jones ! I hate that fellow.' * Hate him ? ' asked his 
friend ; * why, I did not think you knew him.' * No, I 
don't,' was the reply ; ' if I did, I guess I shouldn't 
hate him.' The division between classes is a wrong to 
both classes. The poor lose something by their igno- 
rance of the grace, the culture, and the wider interests 
of the rich ; the rich lose far more by their ignorance 
of the patience, the meekness, the unself-consciousness, 
the self-sacrifice, and the great strong hopefulness of the 
poor. 

5. Besides these conditions, others exist, forming 
barriers and hindering a man from leading his true life, 
such as want of light, space, and beauty. The sun- 
rising is to a large number of town livers only an inti- 
mation — and rarely an agreeable one — that they must 
get out of bed. It is but the lighting of a lamp, and 
not, as Blake said, the rising of an innumerable com- 
pany of the heavenly host consecrating the day to duty 
by crying, ' Holy, Holy, Holy, Lord God Almighty.' 
And even if there is the space to see the sky, there is still 
the absence of leisure to watch its unhurried changes. 
We all haste and rush, we hurry and drive. The very 
parlance of the day adopts new words to express dis- 
patch, and one dear old body whom I know, who is 
sixty years old and of appropriate proportions, con- 
stantly informs me that she • flew ' hither and thither — 
a method of locomotion which, in earlier years, I re- 
member, she reserved strictly for future and more 
heavenly purposes. 

But enough has been said of the ills of society. We 
all know them. The hearts of some of us have been 



CHARITABLE EFFORT 161 

very sick for many a weary year. The hands of those 
who have sat on the height and watched the progress of 
the battle have become tired, and have been upheld only 
by faith and prayer. But reinforcements have arrived ; 
friends for the poor have arisen; from all sides press 
forward willing volunteers, who say, 'Put us in our 
place. Let us do something. How can we break down 
these barriers — unloose the golden fetters of these impri- 
soned souls — or relieve the burdened shoulders of those 
pale dungeoned creatures ? How are we to make strength 
out of union — to right wrongs, and give to every man 
the light by which to see to make his choice ? ' 

If one is to carry heavy weights one must have 
trained muscles. If one is to reply one must know. 
The Charity Organisation Society is the watchman set on 
a hill, who by his very constitution has special facilities 
for giving an answer — and a wise one — to these ques- 
tions. He has exceptional opportunities for knowing 
both the classes in which social reform is most needed, 
and knows them under the best conditions. The rich 
come to him with * minds on helpfulness bent ' ; the poor 
come at a time when their hearts are sore, when their 
lives are troubled, when their sorrows have made them 
s unmanfully meek/ and they are willing to lay their lives 
and circumstances bare to inquiring eyes. For fifteen 
years the one class has been meeting the other in the 
thirty-nine district offices provided by the Society, and 
some 230,000 families have asked for succour when they 
have been either morally, physically, or circumstantially 
sick. Last year alone 14,132?. passed through the hands 
of this Director of Charity, and at this moment there are 
more than 2,000 men and women actively engaged in his 



162 PRACTICABLE SOCIALISM 

work, while he records the names of nearly 3,000 sub- 
scribers whose money is an earnest of sympathy and 
potential working power. 

But magnificent as this sounds, and is (for there can 
be no doubt about it that our friend is a very fine 
fellow), still there are flaws both in his past and present 
constitution and character which make his work less 
effective than it otherwise might be. Briefly, his heart 
is not large enough for his body — his circulation is slow 
— his movements are ponderous — and, being slightly 
hard of hearing, he does not take in things until some 
little time after other people have done so. Then, too, 
he is somewhat a creature of habit; his mind does not 
readily assimilate new ideas, and he does rather an 
unusual number of things because * he always has done 
so.' His raison d'etre, his whole work, is founded on 
the first word of his name — Charity — (which the new 
translators tell us we may call love, if we like), and yet 
he is sometimes curiously persistent in ' thinking evil/ 
and he hardly, I fear, ' hopeth all things/ nor yet lives 
up to his standard of * never failing ' ; or what does 468 
cases thrown aside as * undeserving and ineligible ' mean 
in this last month's returns of work ? 

Then he has an odd way of talking about his work. 
I have often seen ordinary, commonplace, every-day 
sort of people begin to listen to him with keen interest, 
but gradually drop eyelids and lose sympathy as he 
threads his way through investigations, organisations, 
registrations, co-operations, applications, administra- 
tions, each and all done by multiplication ! 

This is a pity, for of course the every-day sort of 
people are most wanted to help him. He cannot only 



CHARITABLE EFFORT 163 

work with people who have been cradled in blue-books 
and nourished with statistics, nor yet with those who 
are like the man who ' did not care to look unless he 
could see the future.' 

Some people dislike this faulty creature very much. 
They see no good in him, and call him all sorts of hard 
names ; but then one is apt to find faults in large people 
more unbearable than in little ones. Clumsy people, if 
big, are so very clumsy; they tumble over the furni- 
ture, and kick the pet dog, and if they do chance to 
tread on toes it hurts so very much ! and that is partly 
the case with him. But he has virtues, and plenty of 
them ; he is not afraid of work, and he really cares for 
the poor ; he is exceedingly honourable about money ; 
he is methodical and business-like; he is thorough in 
all he does, thinking no detail beneath his notice ; he 
is accurate about his facts and moderate in his state- 
ments ; he is most even in his temper (though person- 
ally I should like him better if I could once see him 
in a rage), and he is patient and painstaking ; he is 
humble, though conceited, too; that is, with the sort 
of conceit that one sometimes meets with in swimmers 
who know that they do the stroke * quite perfectly ' but 
yet are somewhat afraid of deep water ; fearful, not of 
their breath or strength failing, but of the cramp, or 
jelly-fish, or other unknown dangers of the deep. 

But that he is a fine being we shall all agree, with a 
full, rich nature ; and if he could or would add to his many 
virtues that of adaptability ; if he would become a little 
more elastic in his fingers as well as in his body; if he 
would take digitalis, in the shape of hearty hand-shaking, 
to improve his circulation; if he would determine every 



164 PBACTICABLE SOCIALISM 

week to do some new thing, ' just for a change ' ; if he 
would, having been awakened by all his baptismal names, 
remind himself — just while he was dressing — of the main 
object of his existence ; if he would not be above using 
an ear-trumpet, particularly on those occasions when he 
leaves his papers and goes to ' sup sorrow with the poor ' 
— if he would do some or all of these things we might 
yet see his strong arm foremost among those who remove 
barriers to let in light ; we might yet hear his strong 
voice giving out with no uncertain sound the charitable 
— the loving — answer to some of these soul-stirring 
questions. 

For instance (and you will perhaps pardon me for 
carrying you into Committee for a few minutes), here is 
the case of Williamson, a man of forty, with his wife, 
three living children, and the recollections of the funerals 
of two. He is a casual dock-labourer, working when he 
can get work, and then only if his bad leg allows him. 
His wife asks for a loan to enable her to stock more 
fully her street-hawking basket. The father is described 
as a ' quiet, steady man.' The mother is a * decent 
woman.' The decision of the Committee is ' ineligible/ 
and "Williamson goes away a sadder and no wiser man. 

And why is the case ineligible ? Because the Com- 
mittee think that money will do the family no good. 
The people are below the stage when money help can be 
useful. They have drifted till they are, in fact, ineligible 
for what the Society, materialistic as the age which 
counts money the greatest good, feels itself alone able to 
give, and by the decision of the Committee they are 
allowed to drift still. And yet not one of us could say 
that this family did not need help. On the case-paper, 



CHARITABLE EFFORT 165 

in the very middle of the first page, stand two helpable 
facts. Williamson is only casually employed by a great 
permanent company. Williamson is in no club. 

Charitable effort needs organising even more than 
charitable relief. Some people fear the devil more than 
they love God ; or, in other words, tliey fear to do harm 
more than they love to do good. Seeing that money 
unwisely bestowed does great harm, they have hastened 
to organise it, neglecting meanwhile to organise effort, 
which for the creation of good is stronger than money for 
the creation of evil. 

Williamson, with his rough, decent wife and his 
three unkempt children, is, let us grant, ineligible for 
charitable relief, but not for charitable effort. That might 
be directed to induce him to belong to a club, to take in- 
telligent interest in the actions of his country, to realise, 
helped by Sir Walter Scott or Tourgenief, the thoughts of 
other nations, the character of other centuries or classes. 
Let effort be used to help him to accept the strength 
which union gives to resistance, be it to personal temp- 
tation or to public wrong. 

And could not charitable effort undertake that Mrs. 
Williamson's tiring day be less degradingly tiring? 
Could it not provide a cosy parlour-club, or a chair more 
tempting than an upright Windsor, in which darning and 
mending would be possible ? And perhaps that dull task 
would not be so wholly distasteful if enlivened by a sweet 
voice, who would read ideas into the stitches, or sing 
patches into rhythmical relations. Such effort would 
soon make a difference in the unkempt appearance of 
the little Williamsons, and maybe evenings given up to 
those who cannot i ask us again ' or Sunday-planned 



166 PRACTICABLE SOCIALISM 

walks would not be entirely wasted efforts, and if mul- 
tiplied to any extent might have a perceptible influence 
on our country's conscience, though it might perhaps re- 
duce our country's revenue from excise and customs. 

Charitable effort, too, might make gutter-mud and 
street-fights less attractive to John, Sarah, and Jane by 
providing them with playgrounds as well as something — 
and perhaps young philanthropists will add somebody — 
to play with. And could not charitable effort take the 
children for a few weeks out of the one room, to learn 
ideals of cleanliness and to have some fun which is not 
naughty in the cottage homes of our country villages ? 

And wisely directed effort might, too, aim at abolish- 
ing the system of casual labour at the docks — a system 
which keeps thousands of half-fed men hanging each 
morning about the dock gates because on one day in 
ten all may be wanted — a system which degrades men 
by forcing them to scramble for their work and almost 
enjoy the chance on which homes and existence depend. 
Such a system is not to be justified on the plea of profit 
or on the fear of strikes. But, granted that even my 
friend's great strength is powerless before Giant Dock 
Companies, yet is not this an occasion when, if he could 
do nothing else, he might use strong language, to which 
it is often noticed that neither animals nor companies 
are wholly indifferent ? 

So much for Williamson. But Committee is not 
over yet, and here are the papers of Mrs. Canty — 56 
years of age — a poor shrivelled old woman, ugly and un- 
interesting in appearance, unable to work from a dread- 
ful complaint in her face, living with her two children, 
the only survivors out of a goodly family of six. The 



CHAEITABLE EFFORT 167 

children, a boy of 20 and a girl of 16, are earning 24s. 
between them, and the Committee decide that the case 
is one ' not requiring relief.' Perhaps not — in money, 
but is cold, hard money the only relief that the Charity 
Organisation Society has to offer? Surely charitable 
effort could be organised for the benefit of this family. 
Some one could be sent with time and tact who would 
help the poor widow to other pleasures than those of re- 
gretful memories ; for we read she was * well-to-do in her 
husband's lifetime.' Some one who would make bright 
half-hours for her and take her mind from dwelling on her 
poor painful face, guiding her to draw strength from the 
thought of other lives and hope out of greater interests. 

Is not some one's carriage at the Society's disposal in 
which she may be taken — she is too weak to walk and has 
not been out for two and a half years — to catch a glimpse 
of the bright spring flowers and the new-budding trees ? 

For the boy too. He may be in a good place and 
earn enough for bare necessities ; but he has not the 
means of getting books, the opportunities for joining a 
gymnasium, nor the knowledge of the club, where he 
could be re-created and form friendships. These may all 
be within reach, and would certainly be for the relief of 
such a lad's hard and monotonous life ; but the Charity 
Organisation Society, declaring that he does * not require 
relief,' lets him go without an effort to give him what 
would influence his life far more radically than the asked 
for half-a-crown a week. 

And for the girl also. She may be training for good 
work, but she must often be tired of the drudgery of her 
five years' nursing done without the help of a competent 
doctor — for the old lady * doctors of herself — and done, 



168 PRACTICABLE SOCIALISM 

too, between the intervals allowed by her business of 
widow-cap making. Does she require no relief which 
the Charity Organisation Society can give — the relief 
which comes through books and patience-preaching pic- 
tures, the relief which follows the introduction to the 
singing class leading to the choir, or which comes 
through the hand-grasp of the wiser friend when the 
road is unusually drear ? 

Belief through such agencies would often make 
later relief unnecessary — relief which we dcure not with- 
hold, and yet ache as we silently give it to lock hospitals, 
reformatories, and penitentiaries. Might not — may not 
charitable effort be organised to remove some of the 
social conditions which stand as barriers to prevent, or 
anyhow make it painfully difficult for these eight people 
to live the highest, fullest, richest life ? 

And the hindering barriers to the rich man's life. I 
have hardly said a word about him, yet I am quite 
sorry for him, more sorry than for his poor neighbour ; 
but there is not so much need for anyone to look after 
him, because he himself already does it. He had better 
be forgotten for a bit, so that he may be helped to forget 
himself. * He that loseth his life shall find it/ and the 
good, if unsought, will come to him. When he, with * all 
he is and has,' goes to reform his neighbour's conditions, 
he will find them wondrously interwoven with his own. 
He will find, if he digs deep enough, that the founda- 
tions of both palace and court are of the same material, 
and also that he both sees further and breathes easier 
after having melted down his golden walls to frame his 
neighbour's pictures. 

But the Charity Organisation Society could help him. 



CHAEITABLE EFFOBT 169 

It must help both the rich and the poor. It must make 
of itself a bridge by which the one set of condition- 
hindered people can cross to reach the other condition- 
hindered people ; and, as is sometimes the case in fairy 
tales, the hindrance will in individual cases disappear in 
the very act of crossing the bridge. 

I do not mean that the mere meeting will in itself be 
a social reform, but it will tend to it, and that in the 
best way. Which of us having once been in a court 
disgraceful to our civilisation, and yet all that forty or 
fifty families have to call 'home/ would lose a chance of 
promoting a Sanitary Aid Committee or of getting the 
law enforced or amended ? Which of us, having once 
seen a Whitechapel alley at five o'clock on an August 
afternoon, and realising all it means, besides physical 
discomfort, could go and enjoy our afternoon tea, daintily 
spread on the shady lawn, and not ask himself difficult 
questions about his own responsibility — while one man 
has so much and another so little ? The answer would, 
maybe, have legal results. Which of us, having sat by 
the sick-bed of the work-worn man (not having relieved 
ourselves by giving him a shilling), can return and drink 
for our pleasure the wine which might be his health ? 
Which of us, having become acquainted with the low 
ideas, the coarse thoughts, the unholy hopes of (pardon 
the expression) the ' outcast poor,' can reject the privi- 
lege of self-sacrifice for their help ; can neglect, at the 
cost of any personal trouble, a single effort which will 
aid their ' growth in grace ' ? 

Evil is wrought from ignorance as well as want of 
thought ; and the rich suffer from not knowing, as much 
as the poor from not being known. Both classes want 



170 PKACTTCABLE SOCIALISM 

help. They cannot alone break down their barriers, 
and alone they cannot live their best life. Our Society 
must help them — our Society, guided by wise rules as to 
what not to do, can introduce, as the children say, Mr. 
Too-Much to Miss Too-Little; it can be the ' Helpful 
Society/ helping the man stifled with too much ; helping 
the man starving with too little ; helping the idler whose 
true nature is literally ' dying for something to do ' ; help- 
ing the worker who seeks the grave gladly from fatigue ; 
helping the lonely man to find his place in the crowd, and 
the crowd-tired man to opportunities of solitude ; helping 
the owner of knowledge to outpour his treasures, and 
the ignorant to receive the same ; helping the merry- 
maker to make merry, and the sorrowful to teach the 
lessons of pain ; helping those who have found the true 
meaning of life to ring out their news to those of us who 
are still groping and restless for assurance ; helping, in 
short, all who will give effort to wise uses. 

Practically the thirty-nine district offices might each 
be the centre of all those forces which, under any name, 
are directed against the evils and hardships of life. 
Their rooms might be the places in which the members 
of charitable societies would hold their meetings. And, 
instead of dreading association with the Charity Organi- 
sation Society, all honest workers might hope to find in 
connection with it associates the most helpful. One day 
the committee-room would be occupied by a Belief Society, 
which would make its grants ; another day would find 
ladies gathered to consult on some Befriending Society. 
Each day the office would have its charitable use, and 
people of all sorts would meet, thinkers and workers ; the 
clergy and the laymen ; the man with the new scheme 



CHAEITABLE EFFOKT 171 

and the well-worn worker in the old paths; the 
practical reformer and the enthusiast. A kind of registry 
might be kept by which those wanting to help might be 
introduced into empty posts of helpfulness. It would no 
longer happen that a man should be kept years at case- 
writing when he had within him a divine gift for 
managing boys. Clergymen, members of societies, by 
advertising their vacant posts, could then find among 
other societies able helpers. 

Practically it seems a small thing to say, let the 
offices be more generously used ; let the secretaries make 
it their business to find out the vacant posts of usefulness 
in clubs, night schools, &c. Such a simple practical 
reform might have great issues. Frequent meetings 
would result in action, weak local boards be strengthened, 
pressure brought to bear on neglectful officials, vacancies 
in the ranks of teachers and visitors filled, and a public 
opinion formed strong enough to condemn both luxury 
and suffering — both over and under work. If such a 
scope of action frightens those who are conscious of thin 
ranks and limited resources, let them remember that it 
is the thought of wider action which will tempt in re- 
cruits. Many who have no taste for ' case work ' and 
Committee forms will be glad co-operators when, in any 
way, they can be brought face to face with the poor ; 
when they can feel that, by their organised effort, some 
steps are being made in social reform. 

I do not for a moment mean to imply that I believe 
society will be reformed if the Charity Organisation So- 
ciety were to decide to adopt a larger policy or a more 
embracing area of work. Even those of us who most 
believe in it must acknowledge that it is but one among 



172 PRACTICABLE SOCIALISM 

many influencing forces ; but it is possible to hope that 
all such influences working together may make a com- 
munity where conditions (as mountains in landscapes) 
will only make variety in the level of humanity. A flat 
country is dull. Mountains and valleys are much more 
beautiful ; but then the hills lend their beauty to the 
dales — their torrents fertilise the low-lying lands, and the 
lofty mountain crag which first gains the light, and is the 
last to lingeringly let it go, gives back its reflected glory 
to gladden the shadowed valley. 

A sameness of circumstances might not mean social 
reform (indeed, personally, I doubt if anything but love 
for God will mean social reform), but reform is necessary, 
and with that we all agree. ' Effort is bootless, toil is 
fruitless ' ; with that we do not agree— our very presence 
here denies it. There only remains then that organised 
effort should be directed towards reform, noticing, by the 
way, that, having swept the room, we do not leave the 
broom about ! If those who make the effort will, not 
neglecting statistics, returns, and order, keep their eye on 
the far-away issue, which is the life of man raised to its 
perfect fulness, our children may, ' with pulses stirred to 
generosity,' rejoice to tell the tale of what the Charity 
Organisation Society did for social reform. 

Henrietta 0. Barnett. 



173 



XI. 



SENSATIONALISM IN SOCIAL REFORM. 1 

Theudas and Jesus were alike moved by the suffering of 
the Jews. Theudas, ' boasting himself to be somebody, 
drew away much people ' ; Jesus, who did not ' strive nor 
cry/ had only a few disciples, and died deserted by these. 

The present method of reform is by striving and 
crying. The voice of those who see the evils of society 
is heard in the streets, and much people is drawn to 
meetings and demonstrations. Many, moved by what 
they hear, profess themselves to be 'frantic,' and the 
country seems ready for a moral revolt. 

What shall the end be ? Will the evil cease because 
the bitter cry of those who suffer is heard in the land ? 
Will the ' frantic ' striving of many people relieve society 
from the slavery of selfishness and lead to a moral re- 
form, or will it be that after a few months some one like 
Browning's Cardinal will be found saying, ' I have known 
four-and- twenty leaders of revolt ' ? 

This is a question to be considered, if possible, with 
calmness of mind, without prejudice for or against sen- 
sationalism. It may be that what seems sensational is 
but the bigger cry suited to a bigger world, and therefore 

1 Reprinted, by permission, from the Nineteenth Century of February 
1886. 



174 PRACTICABLE SOCIALISM 

the only means of making known the facts which must 
afterwards be weighed and considered. It may be that 
some must be made frantic before any will act. It may 
be, on the other hand, that this trumpeting of sorrow 
and sin is the vengeance of the crime of sense, itself a 
sense to be worn with time ; that men trumpet sorrows 
for mere love of noise and size, and become frantic over 
tales of sin to wring from each tale a new pleasure. 
Sensationalism in social reform is either the outcome of 
self-indulgence or it is the divine voice making itself 
heard in language which he that runs may read. 

Not lightly at any rate are Midlothian speeches, * bit- 
ter cries,' and religious revivals to be passed over. They, 
by striving and crying, by forcible statements and strong 
language, have caused public opinion to stop its course 
of easy satisfaction, and to express itself in new legisla- 
tion. For the sake of the Bulgarians a Ministry was 
overturned ; because of the cry of the poor an Act of 
Parliament has been passed; and the success of the 
Salvation Army has modified the services in our 
churches. In face, though, of these results on legisla- 
tion, and of other results represented by various societies 
and leagues, the question still is, Will the same causes 
result in raising character ? Professor Clifford, in one of 
his essays, speaks with religious fervour on the importance 
of character in society : — 

Our words, our phrases, our forms and processes and 
modes of thought are common property fashioned and per- 
fected from age to age. . . . Into this, for good or ill, is 
woven every belief of every man who has speech of his fellows. 
An awful privilege and an awful responsibility, that we 
should help to create the world in which posterity will live I 



SENSATIONALISM IN SOCIAL EEFOBM 175 

Further, he goes on to point out that a bad method is 
bad, whatever good results may follow, because it weakens 
the character of the doer and so weakens society. 

If (he says) I steal money from any person, there may be 
no harm done by the mere transfer of possession ; he may 
not feel the loss, or it may prevent him from using the money 
badly. But I cannot help doing this great wrong towards 
Man, that I make myself dishonest. What hurts society is 
not that it should lose its property, but that it should become 
a den of thieves ; for then it must cease to be society. This 
is why we ought not to do evil that good may come ; for at 
any rate this great evil has come, that we have done evil and 
are made wicked thereby. 

In judging, therefore, of methods of reform it is not 
enough to show that laws have been passed and leagues 
formed ; it must also be shown that the character of all 
concerned is raised. Jesus drew few people after Him 
and died alone, but He so raised the character of man 
that His death inaugurated a permanent reformation of 
society. It is as the character of men is raised that all 
reforms become permanent. 

Oppressed nationalities depend for effectual help on 
the widely spread growth of sympathy with freedom ; the 
poor will have starvation wages till the rich learn what 
justice requires ; and religion will fail to be a power till 
men are honest enough to ask themselves in what they 
do really believe. Methods of reform are valuable just 
in so far as they tend to increase sympathy, justice, 
honesty, reverence, and all the virtues of high character. 
The answer, therefore, as to the end of this striving and 
crying of modern philanthropy is to be found in the 
effects which such methods have on character. 



176 PRACTICABLE SOCIALISM 

On the side of sensationalism it is urged (1) that 
laws and institutions are great educators. By the many 
laws against theft thieving has come to he regarded as 
the great crime, and by societies like that for the preven- 
tion of cruelty to animals kindness has come to be a 
common virtue. If, therefore, it is argued, by some 
rough awakening of the public conscience, laws have 
been passed and institutions started, something is done 
to develope the higher part of character. * Principles,' it 
has been said, ' are no more than moral habits/ and if 
agitation leads to laws which enforce moral habits, sensa- 
tionalism may thus have the credit of forming principles 
which make character. 

It is further urged (2) that, if association be the 
watchword of the future and the educational force of the 
new age, it is by noisy means that associations must be 
formed, because the trumpet note which is to draw men 
together from parties and classes between whom great 
gulfs are fixed must be one loud enough to strike the 
senses. 

Lastly, it is said (3) that many whose imagination 
has been made dull by the modern systems of education 
could never know the truth unless it were shown to them 
under the strongest light. They have been so rarely 
taught in school to take pleasure in knowledge or to 
stretch their minds, they have so little accustomed them- 
selves to think over what is absent or to trace effects to 
causes, that it is more often by ignorance than by selfish- 
ness that they are cruel. They have been so eager in 
managing their inheritance of wealth that they have failed 
to use their other inheritance — the power of putting ques- 
tions. Such people, it is argued, hearing of atrocities, 



SENSATIONALISM IN SOCIAL REFORM 177 

learning the cost at which wealth is made, and seeing the 
brutal side of vice, get such development of character that 
they question habits, customs, conditions which they be- 
fore accepted, and become more just and generous. 

On the other hand, against this use of sensationalism, 
keeping still in view the effects on character, it is urged 
(1) that actions caused by the excitement of the emotions 
before they can be supported by reason are followed by 
apathy. The people who became ' frantic ' at the tale 
of the Bulgarian atrocities have since heard almost with 
equanimity of suffering as terrible. The many who 
wrote and spoke of the bitter lot of the poor hardly give 
the few pounds a year required to keep alive the Sanitary 
Aid Society which was started to deal with what was 
allowed to lie nearest the root of the bitterness — the ill- 
administered laws of health. The leaders of the Salva- 
tion Army, pursued by this fear of apathy, have con- 
tinually to seek new forms of excitement, just as politicians 
have to seek new cries. 

Such examples seem to show that the wave which is 
raised by the emotions must fall back unless it is followed 
by the rising tide of reason, and that the effect on 
character of neglecting the reason is to make it unfeel- 
ing and apathetic. According to Kossetti's allegory, 
they who are stirred by the sight of vice become, like 
those who look on the Gorgon's head, hardened to stone. 

Let not thine eyes know 
Any forbidden thing itself, although 
It once should save as well as kill ; but be 
Its shadow upon life enough for thee. 

The emotions, certainly, cannot be strained without 
loss. Of the greatest English actress it is told that 



178 PEACTICABLE SOCIALISM 

she paid in old age the price of early strain on her 
feelings * hy weariness, vacuity, and deadness of spiIit. , 

It is urged further on the same side, (2) that the 
advertisement which is said to be necessary to promote 
association promotes only organisation, or that if it does 
promote association it fills it also with the party spirit, 
which is a corrupting influence. 

Organisations, we have been lately told, are weakening 
real charitable effort. They have at once the strength 
and the weakness of the standing army system, they pro- 
duce a body of officials keen to carry out their objects 
and careless of other issues, and they release individuals 
from the duty of serving the need they have recognised. 
That the sensational method of rousing the charitable 
activities has resulted in organisation rather than in 
association may be seen by reference to the Charities 
Kegister, with its long record of new societies and 
institutions. That it also inspires with party spirit 
the associations which it forms is more difficult of proof. 
Strong statements which are necessary to advertisement 
can hardly, though, be fair statements, and loud state- 
ments can rarely be exhaustively accurate. Where there 
is in the beginning neither fairness of feeling nor accu- 
racy of thought there will be afterwards a repetition of 
the old theological hatred. 

' Ye know not what spirit ye are of,' said Christ to 
His disciples, who, ignorant of His purpose, would have 
used force in His service against the Samaritans. The 
same party spirit still sometimes inspires those who hold 
grand beliefs and support great causes, the height and 
depth and breadth of which they have had neither time 
nor will to measure ; and such a spirit degrades their 



SENSATIONALISM IN SOCIAL REFORM 179 

character. It is not a gain to a man to be a Christian or a 
Liberal if by so doing he becomes certain that there is no 
right nor truth on the side of a Mohammedan or of a Tory. 
He has not, that is, risen to the height of his character : 
rather, as Mr. Coleridge says, ' He who begins by loving 
Christianity better than the truth will proceed by loving 
his own sect or Church better than Christianity, and end 
in loving himself better than all.' A teetotaller will not 
add so much to society by his temperance as he will take 
away from society if his character becomes proud or 
narrow. 

Party spirit — the spirit, that is, which is roused and 
limited by some hasty view of truth or right — is likely to 
make men unjust and cruel, and so a method of reform 
which produces this spirit cannot be approved. In the 
name of the grandest causes, missionaries were in old 
times cruel, and philanthropists are in modern times 
unjust. 

Lastly, (3) those who have claimed for sensationalism 
the parentage of some law have been met by the paradox 
that laws and institutions rarely exist till they have 
ceased to be wanted. In England public opinion con- 
demns cruelty to animals, and so a society has been 
created. In Egypt, where the need is greater, but where 
there is no public opinion to condemn the cruelty, there 
is no society. Certain it is, at any rate, that the statute- 
book is cumbered with laws passed in a moment of moral 
excitement which remain without influence because 
they have never represented the true level of public 
opinion. 

"Where arguments are so urged for and against sensa- 
tionalism it may be useful if, out of thirteen years' expe- 



180 PRACTICABLE SOCIALISM 

rience of East London life, I shortly collect what seem to 
be some of the effects on character developed during this 
period. 

The first effect which is manifest is the great increase 
of humanity in the richer classes. This is shown not 
only by talk, by drawing-room meetings, and by news- 
paper articles, but by actual service among the poor. 
The number of those who go about East London to do 
good is largely increased. The increase is, though, I be- 
lieve, greatest among those philanthropists who aim to 
apply principles rather than to provide relief. There 
have always been people of good-will ready to give and to 
teach ; there is now an increase in their numbers, but 
the marked increase is among those who, following Mrs. 
Nassau Senior, work registry offices, on the principle that 
friends are the best avenues by which young girls can find 
places ; or, following Miss Octavia Hill, become rent col- 
lectors, on the principle that the relation of landlord and 
tenant may be made conducive to the best good ; or, follow- 
ing Miss Nightingale, take up the work of nursing, on the 
principle that the service of the sick is the highest ser- 
vice ; or, following the founders of the Charity Organisa- 
tion Society, examine into the causes of poverty, on the 
principle that it is better to prevent than to cure evil ; 
or, following Miss Miranda Hill, give their talents to 
making beauty common, on the principle that rich and 
poor have equal powers of enjoying what is good ; or, 
following Edmund Denison, come to live in East London 
and do the duties of citizens, on the principle that only 
they who share the neighbourhood really share the life of 
the poor. In all these cases the increase began more 
than thirteen years ago, and it must be allowed that the 



SENSATIONALISM IN SOCIAL JREFOKM 181 

development of humanity which they represent is not of 
that form which can as a rule be traced to the use of 
sensationalism. 

■ 

Another effect I notice as generally present is increase 
of impatience. 

The richer classes seeing things that have been hidden, 
and ignorant that any improvement has been going on, 
have taken up with ready-made schemes. Irritated that 
the poor should find obstacles to relief in times of sick- 
ness, they, in their hurry, give the pauper a vote, but leave 
him to get his relief under degrading conditions. Angry 
that children should be hungry, but too anxious to con- 
sider other things than hunger, they start an inadequate 
system of penny dinners which keeps starvation alive. 
Stirred by the news of uninhabitable houses, and insani- 
tary areas, and brutal offences, they pass stringent laws 
and take no steps to see that the laws are administered. 
Affected by the thought that the majority of the people 
have neither pleasure-ground, nor space for play, nor 
water for cleanliness, they raise a chorus of abuse against 
London government, but do not deny themselves every 
day the bottle of wine or the useless luxury which would 
give to Kilburn a park or to East London a People's 
Palace. Hearing that the masses are irreligious, means 
are supported without regard as to what must be the in- 
fluence on thoughtful men of associating religion with 
things which are not true, nor honourable, nor lovely, 
nor of good report. 

On all sides among persons of good- will there seems to 
be the belief that things done for people are more effec- 
tive than things done with people. There is an absence of 
the patience — the passionate patience — which is content 



182 SBACTiCABLE SOCIALISM 

to examine, to serve, to wait, and even to fail, so long as 
what is done shall be well done. 

The same impatience which takes this shape among 
the richer classes is, I think, to be seen among the poorei 
classes in a growing animosity against the rich for being 
rich. Strong words and angry threats have become 
common. All suffering and much sin are laid at the 
doors of the rich, and speakers are approved who say 
that if by any means property could be more equally 
shared, more happiness and virtue would follow. 
Schemes, therefore, which offer such means are welcomed 
almost without inquiry. Artisans, roused by what they 
hear of the state in which their poorer neighbours live, 
misled often by what they see, do not inquire into causes 
of sin and sorrow. Scamps and idlers come forward with 
cries which get popular support, and the mass of the poor 
now cherish such a jealous disposition that, were they 
suddenly to inherit the place of the richer classes, they 
would inherit their vices also and make a state of society 
in no way better than the present. 

There may be such a thing as a noble impatience, but 
the impatience which has lately been added to character 
of both rich and poor is not such as to make observers 
sanguine of the social reform which it may accomplish. 
The old saying is still true, ' He that believeth shall not 
make haste.' 

The other effect on character which has become 
manifest is one at which I have already hinted. It is a 
growing disposition among all classes to trust in 'societies/ 
whose rules become the authority of the workers and 
whose extension becomes the aim of their work. Men 
give all their energies to get recruits for their 'army,' 



SENSATIONALISM IN SOCIAL REFORM 183 

recognition for their clubs, and more room for their opera- 
tions. ' Societies ' seem thus to be very fountains of 
strength, and the only method of action. Bishops aim to 
strengthen the Church by speaking of it as a 'society,' and 
individual ministers try to keep their parishes distinct 
with a name, an organisation, and an aim which are in- 
dependent of other parishes. The lovers of emigration 
have for the same reason grouped themselves in no less 
than fourteen societies, and it has seemed that even 
to give music to the people has required the creation of 
three large societies. 

A ' society ' has indeed taken in many minds the 
place of a priest, its authority has given the impetus 
and the aim to action, but it has tended to make those 
whom it rules weak and bigoted. I see, therefore, in the 
members of these societies much energy, but less of the 
spirit which is willing to break old bonds and to go on, 
if need be, in the loneliness of originality, trusting in 
God. I see much self-devotion, but more also of the 
spirit of competition, more of the self-assertion which 
yields nothing for the sake of co-operation. 

If now I had to sum up what seems to me to be the 
effect on character of the method of striving and crying, 
I should say that the possible increase of humanity is 
balanced by increase of impatience, by sacrifice of origi- 
nality, and by narrowness. Whether there is loss or gain 
it is impossible to say, but it will be useful, considering 
the end in view, to see how the most may be made of the 
gain and the least of the loss. 

The end to be aimed at is one to be stated in the 
language either of Isaiah or of the modern politician. We 
all look for a time when there shall be no more hunger 



184 PRACTICABLE SOCIALISM 

nor thirst, when love will share the strength of the few 
among the many, and when God shall take away tears 
from every eye. Or, putting the same end in other 
words, we all look for a time when the conditions of 
existence shall be such that it will be possible for every 
man and woman not only to live decently, but also to enjoy 
the fulness of life which comes from friendships and from 
knowledge. 

For such an end all are concerned to work. Com- 
paring the things that are with the things that ought to 
be, some may strive and cry, others may work silently, 
but none can be careless. 

None can approve a condition of society where the 
mass of the people remain ignorant even of the language 
through which come thought, comfort, and inspiration. 
Let it be remembered that now the majority are, as it 
were, deaf and dumb, for the mass of the nation cannot 
ask for what their higher nature needs, and cannot hear 
the "Word of God without which man is not able to live. 
None can approve a condition of society where, while one 
is starving, another is drunken ; where in one part of a 
town a man works without pleasure to end his days in 
the workhouse, while in the other part of the town a 
man idles his days away and is always ' as one that is 
served.' None can look on and think that it always 
must be that the hardest workers shall not earn enough 
to secure themselves by cleanliness and by knowledge 
against those temptations which enter by dirt and 
ignorance, while many have wealth which makes it 
almost impossible for them to enter the kingdom of God. 
A time must come when men shall hunger no more, nor 
thirst any more, when there shall be no tears which love 



SENSATIONALISM IN SOCIAL REFORM 185 

cannot wipe away, and no pain which knowledge cannot 
remove. For this end everyone who knows ' the mission 
of man ' must by some means work. 

That all may avoid the loss and secure the gain which 
belongs to their various methods, it seems to me that they 
would be wise to remember two things — (1) that national 
organisations deserve support rather than party organi- 
sations, and (2) that the only test of real progress is to 
be found in the development of character. 

A national organisation is not only more effective on 
account of its strength and extent, but also on account of 
its freedom from party spirit. Its members are bound to 
sit down by the side of those who differ from themselves, 
and are thus bound to take a wider view of their work. 
They are all under the control of the same body which 
controls the nation, and they thus serve only one master. 
A public library, for instance, which is worked by the 
municipality will be more useful than one worked by a 
society or a company. The books will not be chosen to 
promulgate the doctrines of a sect so much as to extend 
knowledge, and its management will not be so arranged 
as to please any large subscriber so much as to please the 
people. Instead, therefore, of starting societies, it would 
be wise for social reformers to throw their strength into 
national organisations. 

The Board of Guardians might thus be made efficient 
in giving relief. From its funds and with the help of its 
organisation a much more perfect scheme of emigration 
could be worked than by private societies whose funds are 
limited and whose inquiries are incomplete. The work- 
house might provide such a system of industrial training 
as would fit the inmates on their discharge both to take 



186 PRACTICABLE SOCIALISM 

and to enjoy labour. It is as much by others' neglect as 
by their own fault that so many strong men and women 
drift to the relieving officer, unable to earn a living because 
they have never been taught to work. The poor-law in- 
firmary, too, properly organised under doctors and nurses 
and visited by ladies, might be the school of purity and 
the home of discipline in which the fallen might be helped 
to find strength. The pauper schools in which, by the 
service of devoted officers, education could be perfected 
might do better work than the schools and orphanages 
which depend on voluntary offerings and often aim at 
narrow issues. The Guardians, moreover, having the 
power over out-relief, have in their hands a great 
instrument for good or evil. Eightly used, the power 
gives to many who are weak a new strength, as they 
realise that refusal implies respect, and that a system 
of relief which encourages one to bluster and another 
to cringe cannot be good. 

The School Board might, in the same way, be made to 
cover the aims of the educationalists. As managers of 
individual schools these reformers could bring themselves 
into close connection with teachers and children. They 
could show the teachers what is implied in knowledge, 
introduce books of wider views, and they could visit the 
children's homes, arrange for their holidays, and see to 
their pleasures. Much more important is it that the 
schools under the nation's control should be good than 
that special schools should be started to achieve certain 
results. In connection, too, with the Board it is possible 
to have night classes, which should be in reality classes in 
higher education, and means both of promoting friend- 
ship and gaining knowledge. 



SENSATIONALISM IN SOCIAL EEFOEM 187 

Then there are the municipal bodies, the Vestries and 
Boards of Works, who largely control the conditions 
which people of goodwill strive to improve. It rests 
with these bodies to build habitable houses and to see 
that those built are habitable, and they are responsible 
for the lighting and cleaning of the streets. It is in their 
power to open libraries and reading-rooms, to make for 
every neighbourhood a common drawing-room, to build 
baths so that cleanliness is no longer impossible, and 
perhaps even to supply music in open spaces. It is by 
their will, or rather by their want of will, that the houses 
exist in which the young are tempted to their ruin, and 
it only needs their energy to work a reform at which 
purity societies vainly strive. 

Lastly, there is the national organisation which is the 
greatest of all, the Church, the society of societies, the 
body whose object it is to carry out the aim of all societies, 
to be the centre of charitable effort, to spread among high 
and low the knowledge of the Highest, to enforce on all 
the supremacy of duty over pleasure, and to tell every- 
where the Gospel which is joy and peace. If the Church 
fulfilled its object, there would be no need of societies 
or of sects. If the Church fails, it is because it is allowed 
to remain under the control of a clerical body ; its charity 
tends thus to become limited, its ideas of duty are affected 
by its organisation, and it preaches not what is taught by 
the Holy Spirit, who is ' the Giver of life ' now as in the past, 
but it teaches only what its governing body remembers of 
the past teaching of that Spirit. All this would be changed 
if the people were put in the place of this clerical body. 
The Church would then be the expression of the national 
will to do good, to distribute the best and to please God. 



188 PBACTICABLE SOCIALISM 

Because the national organisations are so vast, and 
because association with them is the most adequate check 
on the growth of party spirit, it is by their means that the 
best work can be done. The cost involved may at times 
be great. It may be hard to endure the slow movement 
of a public body while the majority of that body is being 
educated ; it may be bitter work for the ardent Christian 
to endure the officialism of a public institution ; it may 
seem wrong that profane hands should mould the Church 
organisation; but the cost is well endured. The national 
organisations do exist, and will exist, if not for good, 
then for evil. They are vast, a part of the life of the 
nation, and the cost which is paid for association with 
them is often the cost of the self-assertion which, if it 
sometimes is the cause of success, is also the cause of 
shame. 

Further, at this moment when many methods of 
social reform offer themselves, it seems to me that all 
would be wise to remember that the only test of pro- 
gress is in the development of character. Institutions, 
societies, laws, count for nothing unless they tend to 
make people stronger to choose the good and refuse 
the evil. Eedistribution of wealth would be of little 
service if in the process many became dishonest. A 
revolution would be no progress which put one selfish 
class in the place of another. The test, then, which all 
must apply to what they are doing is its effect on cha- 
racter, and this test rigorously applied will make safe all 
methods both new and old. When it is applied there will 
be a strange shifting of epithets. Things called ' great ' 
will seem to be small, and efforts passed by in contempt 
will be seen to be greatest. 



SENSATIONALISM IN SOCIAL REFORM 189 

The man in East London who, judged by this test, 
stands among the highest is, I think, one who, be- 
longing to no society, committed to no scheme of reform, 
has worked out plan after plan till all have been lost in 
greater plans. Years before the evils lately advertised 
were known, he had discovered them, and had begun to 
apply remedies unthought of by the impatient. He has 
won no name, made no appeal, started no institution, and 
founded no society, but by him characters have been 
formed which are the strength of homes in which force is 
daily gathering for right. The women, too, whose work 
has borne best fruit are those who, having the enthusiasm 
of humanity, have had patience to wait while they 
work. After ten years such women now see families 
who have been raised from squalor to comfort, and are 
surrounded by girls to whom their friendship has given 
the best armour against temptation. 

That work of these has been great because it has 
strengthened character, and there are other fields in 
which like work may be done. Conditions have a large 
influence on character, and the hardships of life may be 
as prejudicial to the growth of character as the luxuries. 
They, therefore, who work to get good houses and good 
schools, who provide means of intercourse and high 
teaching, who increase the comforts of the poor, may 
also claim to be strengthening character. One I know 
who by patient service on boards has greatly changed 
some of the conditions under which 70,000 people have 
to live. He has never advertised his methods nor col- 
lected money for his system ; he has simply given up 
pleasure and holidays to be regular at meetings ; he has 
at the meetings, by patience and good temper, won the 



190 PRACTICABLE SOCIALISM 

ear of his fellows, while by his inquiries into details and 
by his thorough mastery of his subject he has won their 
respect. A change has thus been made on account of 
which many have more energy, many more comfort, and 
many more hope. 

One other I can remember who, even more unknown 
and unnoticed, came to live in East London. He 
gathered a few neighbours together, and gradually in 
talk opened to them a new pleasure for idle hours. 
They found such delight in seeing and hearing new 
things that they told others, and now there are many 
spending their evenings in ways that increase knowledge, 
who do so because one man aimed at providing means 
of intercourse and high teaching. 

Those whose aim it is to reform the material conditions 
in which life is spent may, as well as those who teach, 
claim to be strengthening character, but the admission of 
their claims must depend on the way in which they have 
worked. They themselves can alone tell how far in pur- 
suit of their aims they have forgotten the effect of their 
means upon character, and how those means are now 
represented by people whose growth they have helped or 
hindered. Teachers are not above reformers, and re- 
formers are not above teachers. The people must be 
taught, and conditions must be changed. It is for those 
who teach as well as for those who try to change conditions 
to judge themselves by the effect their methods have on 
character. If striving and crying they have avoided 
impatience and allowed time for the growth of originality, 
if working silently they have indeed done something else 
than find faults in others' methods, they may be said 
to have secured the good and avoided the loss. 

Samuel A. Barnbtt, 



191 



XII. 
PRACTICABLE SOCIALISM. 1 

Some time ago I met in a tramcar a well-known 
American clergyman. ' Ah ! ' said he, * ten years' 
work in New York as a minister at large made me a 
Christian socialist.' The remark illustrates my own 
experience. 

Ten years ago my wife and I came to live in East 
London. The study of political economy and some famili- 
arity with the condition of the poor had shown us the 
harm of doles given in the shape either of charity or of out- 
relief . We found that gifts so given did not make the poor 
any richer, but served rather to perpetuate poverty. We 
came therefore to East London determined to war against 
a system of relief which, ignorantly cherished by the poor, 
meant ruin to their possibilities of living an independent 
and satisfying life. The work of some devoted men on 
the Board of Guardians, helped by the members of 
the Charity Organisation Society, has enabled us to see 
the victory won. 

In this Whitechapel Union there is no out-relief, and 
1 charity ' is given only to those who, by their forethought 

1 Reprinted, by permission, from the Nineteenth Century of April 
1883. 



192 PRACTICABLE SOCIALISM 

or their self-sacrifice, awaken those feelings of respect and 
gratitude which find a natural expression in giving and 
receiving presents. The result has not disappointed our 
hope. The poor have learnt to help themselves, and have 
found self-help a stronger bond by which to keep the 
home together than the dole of the relieving officer 
or of the district visitor. The rates have been saved 
6,000Z. a year, and that sum remains in the pockets 
of ratepayers to be spent as wages for work, and by 
the new system of relief the poor are not only more 
independent but distinctly richer. The old system of 
relief has been conquered, and the result we desired 
has been won. What is that result ? With what a state 
of things does the new system leave us face to face ? 

We find ourselves face to face with the labourer 
earning 20*. a week. He has but one room for himself, 
his wife, and their family of three or four children. By 
self-denial, by abstinence from drink, by daily toil, he 
and his wife are able to feed and clothe the children. 
Pleasure for him and for them is impossible ; he cannot 
afford to spend a sixpence on a visit to the park, nor a 
penny on a newspaper or a book. Holidays are out of 
the question, and fie must see those he loves languish 
without fresh air, and sometimes without the doctor's 
care, though air and care are necessities of life. The 
future does not attract his gaze and give him restful 
hours ; as he thinks of ' the years that are before ' he can- 
not think of a time when work will be done, and he will 
be free to go and come and rest as he will. In the 
labourer's future there are only the workhouse and the 
grave. He hardly dares to think at all, for thought sug- 
gests that to-morrow a change in trade or a master's 



PRACTICABLE SOCIALISM 193 

whim may throw him out of work and leave him unable 
to pay for rent or for food. The labourers — and it is to 
be remembered that they form the largest class in the 
nation — have few thoughts of joy and little hope of rest ; 
they are well off if in a day they can obtain ten hours 
of the dreariest labour, if they can return to a weather- 
proof room, if they can eat a meal in silence while the 
children sleep around, and then turn into bed to save 
coal and light ; they are well off indeed, only because they 
are stolid and indifferent. Their lives all through the 
days and years slope into a darkness which is not 
' quieted by hope.' 

If the wages be 40s. a week the condition is still one 
to depress those who on Sunday bless God for their 
creation. The skilled artisan, having paid rent and club 
money and provided household necessaries, has no 
margin out of which to provide for pleasure, for old age, 
or even for the best medical skill. There can be for him 
no quiet hours with books or pictures, while his children 
or friends make music for his solace. He can invite no 
friends for a Christmas dance ; he can wander in the 
thought of no future of pleasure or of rest. England is 
the land of sad monuments. The saddest monument is, 
perhaps, ' the respectable working man/ who has been 
erected in honour of Thrift. His brains, which might 
have shown the world how to save men, have been spent 
in saving pennies ; his life, which might have been 
happy and full, has been dulled and saddened by taking 
' thought for the morrow.' 

This ought not so to be, and this will not always be. 
The question therefore naturally occurs, ' "Why should 
not the State provide what is needed ? ' This is the 



194 PRACTICABLE SOCIALISM 

question to which the Socialist is ready with many a 
response. Some of his suggestions, even if good, are im- 
practicable. It may be urged, for instance, that relief 
works should be started, that State workshops should be 
opened, and starvation made impossible. Or it may be 
urged that the land should be nationalised and large in- 
comes divided. To such suggestions, and to many like 
them, it is a sufficient answer that they are imprac- 
ticable. Their attainment, even were it desirable, is not 
within measurable distance, and to press them is likely 
to distract attention from what is possible. If a boy 
who goes out ' in the interest of the fox ' can spoil a hunt 
by dragging a herring across the scent, a well-meaning 
socialist may hinder reform by drawing a fair fancy 
across the line of men's imagination. All real progress 
must be by growth ; the new must be a development of 
the old, and not a branch added on from another root. 
A change which does not fit into and grow out of things 
that already exist is not a practicable change, and such 
are some of the changes now advocated by socialists upon 
platforms. The condition of the people is one not to be 
long endured, but the answer to the question, * What 
can the State do ? ' must be a practicable one, or we 
shall waste time, make mistakes, rouse up anarchy, and 
destroy much that is good. 

Facing, then, the whole position, we see that among 
the majority of Englishmen life is poor ; that among the 
few life is made rich. The thoughts stored in books, the 
beauty rescued from nature and preserved in pictures, 
the intercourse made possible by means of steam loco- 
motion, stir powers in the few which lie asleep in the 
many. If it be true, as the poet says, that men * live by 



PRACTICABLE SOCIALISM 195 

admiration,' it is the few who live, for it is they who 
know that which is worth admiration. 

It seems a hard thing — but I believe that it is on the 
line of truth — to say that the dock labourer cannot live 
the life of Christ; he may, by loving and trusting, live a 
higher life than that lived by many rich men, but he 
cannot live the highest life possible to men of this time. 
To live the life of Christ is to make manifest the truth 
and to enjoy the beauty of God. The labourer who 
knows nothing of the law of life which has been revealed 
by the discoveries of science, who knows nothing which, 
by admiration, can lift him out of himself, cannot live 
the highest life of his day, as Christ lived the highest life 
of His day. The social reformer must go alongside the 
Christian missionary, if he be not himself the Christian 
missionary. 

Facing, then, the whole position, we see first the 
poverty of life which besets the majority of the people, 
and further we recognise that the remedy must be one 
which shall be practicable, and shall not affect the 
sense of independence. It is difficult to state any prin- 
ciple which such remedy should follow. If it be said 
that men's needs, not their wants, may be supplied by 
others' help, then it is necessary to set up an arbitrary 
definition and to define wants as those good things which 
a man recognises to be necessary for his life, and needs 
as those good things the good of which is unseen by the 
individual to whose well-being, in the interests of the 
whole, they are necessary. Food and clothing would 
thus be an example of a man's wants, education of his 
needs ; and it might, according to this definition, be a 
statement of a principle to say that the remedy for the 



196 PRACTICABLE SOCIALISM 

sadness of EngKsh labour is to be sought in letting 
the State provide for a man's needs while he is left to 
provide for his own wants. It is, however, a statement 
which, depending on an arbitrary and shifting definition, 
would not be understood. If, as another statement of a 
principle, it be said that means of life may be provided, 
while for means of livelihood a man must work, then it 
becomes difficult to draw a distinction, for some means 
of life are also means of livelihood. There is no prin- 
ciple as yet stated according to which limits of State 
interference may be defined. 

The better plan is to consider the laws which are ac- 
cepted as laws of England, and to study how, by their 
development, a remedy may be found. On the statute 
book there are many socialistic laws. The Poor Law, 
the Education Act, the Established Church, the Land 
Act, the Artisans' Dwellings Act, and the Libraries Act 
are socialistic. 

The Poor Law provides relief for the destitute and 
medical care for the poor. By a system of outdoor relief 
it has won the condemnation of many who care for the 
poor, and see that outdoor relief robs them of their energy, 
their self-respect, and their homes. There is no reason, 
however, why the Poor Law should not be developed in 
more healthy ways. Pensions of 8s. or 10s. a week 
might be given to every citizen who had kept himself 
until the age of 60 without workhouse aid. If such 
pensions were the right of all, none would be* tempted to 
lie to get them, nor would any be tempted to spy and 
bully in order to show the undesert of applicants. So 
long as relief is a matter of desert, and so long as the 
most conscientious relieving officers are liable to err, there 



PRACTICABLE SOCIALISM 197 

must be mistakes both on the side of indulgence and 
of neglect. The one objection to out-relief, which is at 
present recognised by the poor, is that the system puts it 
in the power of the relieving officer to act as judge in 
matters of which he must be ignorant, so that he gives 
relief to the careless or crafty and passes over those who 
in self-respect hide their trouble. Pensions, too, it may be 
added, would be no more corrupting to the labourer who 
works for his country in the workshop than for the civil 
servant who works for his country at the desk, and the 
cost of pensions would be no greater than is the cost of 
infirmaries and almshouses. In one way or another the 
old and the poor are now kept by those who are richer, 
and the present method is not a cheap one. 

Many men and women fail because they do not know 
how to work. The workhouses might be made schools 
of industry. If the ignorant could be detained in work- 
houses until they had learnt the use of a tool and the 
pleasure of work, these establishments would become 
technical schools of the kind most needed, and yearly 
add a large sum to the wealth of the nation. 

Lastly, the whole system of medical relief might be so A 
organised as to provide for every citizen the skill and care 
necessary for his cure in sickness. As it is, no labourer 
nor artisan is expected to make such provision, as there 
are hospitals, infirmaries, and dispensaries to supply his 
wants. By application or by letter he can gain admis- 
sion to any of these, and he is expected to be grateful. 
Medical relief is thus supplied ; to organise the relief is 
merely to take another step along a path already entered, 
and properly organised the relief need not pauperise. 
The necessity of begging for a letter, the obligation of 



198 PRACTICABLE SOCIALISM 

humbly waiting at hospital or dispensary doors, the 
chance that real needs may be unskilfully treated — these 
are the things which degrade a man. If all the dispen- 
saries, hospitals, and infirmaries were properly ordered, 

i controlled by the State, and open as a matter of right to 

i 

all comers, it would be possible for every citizen at the 
dispensary to get the necessary advice and medicine, and 
thence, if he would, to enter a hospital without any sense 
of degradation. The national health is the nation's in- 
terest, and without additional outlay it could be brought 
about that every man, woman, and child should have 
the medical treatment necessary to their condition. The 
rich would still get sufficient advantage, but it would no 
longer happen that the lives most useful to the nation 
would be left to the care of practitioners who, however 
kind and devoted, cannot provide either adequate drugs 
or spare the time for necessary study when for visit 
and drugs the charge cannot be more than 1*. or Is. 6d. 
By some such development as these suggested, with- 
out any break with old traditions, without any fear of 
pauperising the people, the Poor Law might help to 
make the life of England healthier and more restful. 

In the same way the Education Act might be deve- 
loped in conjunction with the Church and the Universities 
to make the life of England wiser and fuller. A complete 
system of national education ought to take the child 
from the nursery, pass him through high schools to the 
University, and then provide him with means to develop 
the higher life of which all are capable. Some steps 
have already been made in this direction, but secondary 
schools or high schools are still needed, and the Church 
organisation will have to be made popular, so as to re- 



PRACTICABLE SOCIALISM 190 

present, not the opinions of a mediaeval sect, but the 
opinions of nineteenth-century Englishmen. Schools in 
which it would be possible to learn the facts and thoughts 
new to this age, Churches in which, by ministers in 
sympathy with their hearers and by the use of forms 
native of the times, men could be lightened with light 
upon their souls, would add an untold quantity to the 
sum of national Kfe. 

Alongside of such development much might be done 
with the Libraries Act and with the powers which local 
bodies have to keep up parks and gardens. It would be 
as easy to find in every neighbourhood a site for the 
people's playground as it is for the workhouse, and all 
might have, what is now the privilege of the rich, a place 
for quiet, the sight of green grass and fair flowers. It 
would be as easy to build a library as an infirmary. In 
every parish there might be rooms lighted and warmed, 
where cosy chairs and well-filled shelves might invite 
the weary man to wander in other times and climes with 
other mates and minds. In every locality there might 
be a hall where music, or pictures, or the talk of friends 
would call into action sleeping powers, and by admiration 
arouse the deadened to life. The best things gain nothing 
by being made private property ; a fine picture possessed 
by the State will give the individual who looks at it as 
much pleasure as if he possessed it. It is no idle dream 
that the Crystal Palace might become a national institu- 
tion, open free for the enjoyment of all, dedicated to the 
service of the people, for the recreation of their lives, by 
means of music, knowledge, and beauty. 

If still it be said that none of these good things 
touch the want most recognised, the need of better dwell- 



200 PKACTICABLE SOCIALISM 

ings, then we have in the Artisans' Dwellings Act a law 
which only requires wise handling to be made to serve 
this purpose. A local board has now the power to pull 
down rookeries and to let the ground at a price which will 
enable honest builders to erect decent dwellings at low 
rents. Unwisely handled, the law may only destroy 
existing dwellings and put heavy compensation into 
the pockets of unworthy landlords and fees into those of 
active officials ; wisely handled, the same law might at no 
very great expense replace the houses which now ruin 
the life of the poor and disgrace the English name. 

Thus it is — and other laws, such as the Irish Land 
Act, are open to the same process of development — that 
without revolution reform could be wrought. I ca n con - 
ceive a great change in the condition of the people, 
worked out in our own generation, without any revolu- 
tion or break with the past. With wages at their present 
rate I can yet imagine the houses made slirong^Tind 
healthy, education and public baths made" free," and the 
possibility of investing in land made easy. I can ima- 
gine that, without increase of their private wealth, the 
poor might have in libraries, music-halls, and flower 
gardens that on which wealth is spent. I can imagine 
the youth of the nation made strong by means of fresh 
air and the doctor's care, the aged made restful by means 
of honourable pensions. I can imagine the Church as the 
people's Church, its buildings the halls where they are 
taught by their chosen teachers, the meeting-places where 
they learn the secret of union and brotherly love, the 
houses of prayer where in the presence of the Best they 
lift themselves into the higher life of duty and devotion 
to right — all this I can imagine, because it is practi- 



PEACTICABLE SOCIALISM 201 

cable. I cannot imagine that which must be reached by 
new departures and so-called Continental practices. 
Any scheme, whatever it may promise in the future, 
which involves revolution in the present is impracticable, 
and any flirting with it is likely to hinder the progress 
of reform. 

But now there rises the obvious objection, ' All this 
will cost much money ; ' * Free education means Id. in 
the pound ; libraries and museums mean 2d.; 9 * The 
suggested changes would absorb more than 1$. ; the 
ratepayers could not stand it.' 

I agree ; the present ratepayers could not pay heavier 
rates. There must be other means of raising the money. 
Some scheme for graduated taxing might be possible ; 
but perhaps I may be told that such a scheme means 
the introduction of a new principle, and is as much out- 
side my present scope as the scheme for nationalisation 
of the land. Well, there remains the wealth locked up 
in the endowed charities, the increase which would be 
brought to the revenue by a new assessment of the land- 
tax, and the sum which might be saved by abolishing 
sinecures and waste in every public office. 

The wealth of the endowed charities has never been 
realised, and if that amount be not reduced in paying 
for elementary education, it might do much to make life 
happier. If men saw to what uses this money could be 
put, they would not be so ready to back up an agitation 
raised on the School Board to get hold of this money for 
School Board work. They would say, ' No ; the schools 
are safe ; in some way they must be provided and paid 
for. We won't shield the Board from attacks of rate- 
payers by giving them our money to spend; we want that 






.r>^ 



202 PRACTICABLE SOCIALISM 

for things which the board cannot provide.' There is 
also a vast sum which might be got by a new assessment 
— which in some cases would be a re-imposition — of the 
land-tax, and by a closer scrutiny into the ways of public 
offices. The land-tax returns the same amount as it re- 
turned more than two hundred years ago, while rents 
have gone on increasing. The abuses of sinecures and 
of useless officials are patent to all who know anything of 
public work in small areas ; and it is possible that what 
is done in the vestry, on a small scale, is developed by 
the atmosphere of grander surroundings into grander 
proportions. The parish reformer can put his finger on 
one or two officials who are not wanted, but whose salary 
of a few hundreds seems hardly worth the saving ; per- 
chance the parliamentary reformer might put his finger 
on unnecessary officials whose salaries amount to thou- 
sands. Out of the sums thus gained or saved a great 
fund could be entrusted to the governing body of London, 
and the responsibility would then lie with the electors 
to choose men capable of administering vast wealth, so 
as to give to all the means of developing their highest 
possibilities. 

Perhaps, though, it is unwise to go into these details 
and attempt to show how the necessary money may be 
raised. In England poverty and wealth have met together. 
It is the fellow-citizens of the poor who see them in East 
London without joy and without hope. The money 
which is wasted on fruitless pleasures and fruitless effort 
would be sufficient to do all, and more than has been 
suggested in this paper. There is no want of the neces- 
sary money, and much is yearly spent — some of it in 
vain — on efforts on societies or on armies, which promise 



PEACTICABLE SOCIALISM 203 

to save the people. When it is clearly seen that wealth 
may provide some of the means by which their fellow- 
countrymen may be saved from dreariness and sickness if = °f 
not from sin, then the difficulty as to the way in which 

the money may be raised will not long hinder action. 

The ways and means of improving the condition of 
the people are at hand. It is time we gave up the game 
of party politics and took to real work. It is time we 
gave up speculation and did what waits the doing. Here 
are men and women. Are they what they might be ? 
Are they like the Son of Man ? How can they be helped 
to reach the standard of their manhood ? That is the 
question of the day ; before that of Ireland, Egypt, or the 
Game Laws. The answer to that question will divide, 
by other than by party lines, the leaders of men. He 
who answers it so as to weld old and new together will 
be the statesman of the future. 

Samuel A. Barnett. 



v ! 



204 PRACTICABLE SOCIALISM 



XIII. 

THE WORK OF RIGHTEOUSNESS. 1 

1 If I find . . . fifty righteous within the city, then I will spare all 
the place for their sakes.' — Genesis xviii. 26. 

My first thought, as I face you this evening, is of your 
variety — of your different classes and creeds, of your 
various communities, and your various views. My second 
thought is of your common object, of the one longing — 
the voice of your real selves — which converts variety into 
unity. You would save the city. Like Abraham, you 
have seen doom impending ; like Buddha, you have seen 
sights in your daily walk which make the life of ease 
impossible. You have met poverty, ignorance, and sin. 
You have met Poverty. You know families whose 
weekly income is under the price of a bottle of good 
wine ; men dwarfed in stature, crippled in body, the in- 
mates of a hospital for want of sufficient food ; women 
aged and hardened, broken in spirit because their homes 
are too narrow for cleanliness or for comfort ; children 
who die because they cannot have the care which pre- 
serves the children of the rich. 

1 A sermon preached on Advent Sunday, November 27, 1887, at St. 
Jude's Church, Whitechapel, before a body of men and women engaged 
in the work of social reform. 



TEE WOK& OF RIGtfTEOtJSttESS 205 

You have met Ignorance. You know men and women 
gifted with divine powers, powers of clear sight and deep 
feeling, you have seen such people taking shallow rhetoric 
for reason, delighting in exaggeration, clamouring for 
force as a remedy, adopting swindlers as leaders, making 
a game — a Sunday afternoon's excitement — of matters 
which should tear their hearts, killing time which might 
have been fruitful in thought and joy and love. * The 
future belongs to the man who refuses to take himself 
seriously,' says the mocking philosopher. The ignorance 
which accepts the teaching, and which goes with a light 
heart to agitate or to repress agitation, is a sight to 
destroy anyone's ease of mind. 

You have met Sin, the degradation which comes of 
selfishness. In West London it often hides under fine 
trappings. Culture covers a multitude of sins. In the 
exquisitively ordered banquet intemperance and self-in- 
dulgence are unnoticed ; in the phraseology of the office 
greed and selfishness pass as political economy ; and in 
the polished talk of books and of society impurity loses 
its true colour. You, though, are familiar with East 
London, and here you see sin without its trappings ; you 
know that intemperance — over-eating and over-drinking 
— means a brutalised nature ; you know that greed is 
cruelty, and that impurity is destructive both of reason 
and of feeling. You have seen the victims of sin, that 
drunkard's home, the gambler's hell, and the sweater's 
shop. You know that the wages of sin is death, and 
that no culture can give to Mammon any nobility or warm 
his heart with any spark of unselfish joy. 

Poverty, Ignorance, Sin — these threaten the city. 
Your common longing is to avert its doom. Our fathers 



206 PRACTICABLE SOCIALISM 

nourished a like longing. They hoped in Free Trade, 
the Suffrage, the National Education, and they have been 
disappointed. 

Free Trade has, indeed, greatly increased wealth ; 
the number of the comfortable has been multiplied, but 
it is a question whether, in the same proportion, the 
number of the uncomfortable has not also been mul- 
tiplied. Our England is larger than the England of 
fifty years ago, but a larger body — like a giraffe's throat 
— may only provide a larger space for pain ! At any 
rate, Free Trade, which has given us cheap bread, has 
not solved the problem of the unemployed. 

The extension of the Suffrage, again, for which our 
fathers strove, has had good results ; but the example of 
later parliaments and the growing tendency to legislate 
by demonstration hardly justifies their hopes. Our 
fathers held that the possession of the Suffrage would be 
effective to destroy Ignorance ; they thought that respon- 
sibility would develop the seriousness which is necessary 
to knowledge. They — like other good men who need 
God's forgiveness — fed Ignorance with abuse of oppo- 
nents ; with exaggerations, with party cries, they bribed 
Ignorance to establish its own executioner; and now 
Ignorance is too much puffed up by flattery, too much 
enriched by bribes, to yield to the voice which from the 
register and polling booth says, ' England expects every 
man ' to vote according to his conscience, and then to 
submit to the common will. 

Lastly, the passing of the Education Act seemed to 
many to be the beginning of a new age. Schools were 
rapidly built, money was freely voted, and the children 
were compelled to attend. The Education Act has not, 



THE WORK OF RIGHTEOUSNESS 207 

however, taught the people what is due to themselves or 
to others. Greed is not eradicated because its form is 
changed, and, though criminals may be fewer, gambling 
is as degrading as thieving, and oppression legally exerted 
over the weak is as cruel as the illegal blow. The chil- 
dren do not leave school with the self-respect born of con- 
sciousness of powers of heart and brain and hand, nor 
with the humanity born of knowledge of others' burdens. 
It seems, indeed, as if their chief belief was in the value 
of competition, and their chief aptitude a skill in satis- 
fying an inspector with the least possible amount of work. 
At any rate, at the end of twenty years, when a generation 
has been through the schools, our streets are filled with 
a mob of careless youths, and our labour market is over- 
stocked with workers whose work is not worth 4d. an 
hour. 

Poverty, Ignorance and Sin threaten the city. Free 
Trade, the Suffrage, the Education Act have been tried, 
and the doom still impends. What is to be done ? The 
principle of true action lies, I think, imbedded in the old 
Jewish tale. It is not laws and institutions which save 
a city — it is persons. Institutions are good, just in so 
far as they are vivified by personal action ; laws are good 
just in so far as they allow for the free play of person on 
person. There may be need of reform in institutions 
and in laws, so as to give to all an open career and 
equality of opportunity, but it is persons who save ; and 
if to-day fifty — a company o.f righteous — men could 
be found in London, the city might be spared and 
saved. 

In support of this position I would offer two consider- 
ations. (1) The common mind is now scientific. Pro- 



208 PBACTICAJBLE SOCIALISM 

fessor Huxley, in summing up the results of fifty years 
of science, claims the creation of a new habit of thought 
as a greater achievement than any material invention. 
The common man in the street no longer expects a 
miracle or worships a theory as men once worshipped 
the theory of social contract ; he asks for a fact. The 
fact, therefore, that a neighbour is righteous does most 
to extend righteousness. He who knows a just man is 
likely to give a fair day's wage and do a fair day's work, 
to live simply and tell the truth, and it is bad pay and 
bad work, luxury and lying, which do most to make 
poverty. He who knows a wise man is likely to search 
after what is hidden in thought and things, and it is 
carelessness of what is out of sight which makes igno- 
rance. He who knows a good man is likely to have a 
passion for honour, for purity, for humanity, and it is 
the want of higher passion which makes sin. 

The righteous man is in a real sense the master of 
the city. He, as Browning says, who 'walked about 
and took account of all thought, said and acted ' was * the 
town's true master.' Were there in London a company 
of such righteous men, the power of Poverty, Ignorance, 
and Sin would be broken. 

(2) I am often led to observe that taste is more 
powerful than interest. People remain on in situations, 
hold opinions, and adopt habits which are against their 
interests, because they are more in accordance with their 
tastes. They like the surroundings, they like the life, 
and liking is an armour which resists the strong lance of 
the economist. Now why is it that taste overpowers 
interest, and that habit is stronger than law? It is 
because taste comes through persons and is spread by 



THE WOBK OF BIGHTEOUSNESS 209 

contact. The habits or tastes, therefore, which lie at the 
root of Poverty, Ignorance, and Sin may best be met by 
the formation of other habits, which come through the 
example of persons, by the contact of man with man. 
Eighteous men are therefore necessary — men who would 
live simply and share their luxury, whose gain would not 
mean another's loss, who would work for their bread, 
who would do justice on wrong-doers, show mercy to the 
weak, and walk humbly before God. The habits of re- 
spectable people, the waste, the idleness, the sensuousness 
are writ large in the poverty, ignorance, and sin of the 
disreputable. Fifty — a. company of righteous men, rich 
or poor, setting an example of generosity and honesty, 
living Christ's life in contact with others — might create 
habits in them which would take the place of the old bad 
habits. 

The question is sometimes asked, What has been 
the secret of the success of Christianity ? Its basis is 
not a system but a life. Jesus, the Eighteous One, drew 
to Himself the righteous. They that loved the light 
came to the light and found the universe instinct with 
life. Like leaven, the disciples leavened the mass. Chris- 
tianity, in distinction from other systems, gives no scheme 
of belief and promises no paradise of plenty — it says 
instead, ' The kingdom is within you.' ' When you do 
right you have all that God can give.' ' The joy of 
Christ's is the highest joy, and His is the joy of the 
righteous.' Christianity spreads, if it spreads at all, by 
pointing to a life. 

To you, then, desiring to save the city, I take up the 
lesson as old as Abraham and illumined in Christ. I say, 
' Be righteous.' 



210 PRACTICABLE SOCIALISM 

Follow the light and do the right, 
For man can half control his doom, 

Till you find the deathless angel 
Seated in the vacant tomb. 

Now, as once more I look at you, I am conscious of 
you not only as fellow-workers seeking a common end, 
but as our friends. I remember how one has sorrow, 
another joy, and another pain; I know the anxiety 
which besets those whose dear ones are in danger, and 
the failing of heart which comes with age. I go farther, 
I remind you that I know some of your shortcomings, 
the impatience and the indolence, the will worship and 
the weakness, the too great speech and the too great 
silence. I think I know the difficulties of some as I am 
sure I know the goodwill of all of you. Eemembering, 
then, that some are sad and some are tried, I say again, 
' Let everyone do that which he knows to be right.' This 
implies self-examination, the deliberate questioning, 
' What do I think ? ' < What am I doing ? ' This means 
that everyone must settle what is the law he ought to 
obey, and then see how, in word, and thought, and deed, 
he keeps that law. Before the bar of conscience all must 
plead guilty, and by its judgment some will have to give 
up pleasures and some take up burdens. 

* Thy kingdom come,' we pray. A sudden answer 
to that prayer would, it has been said, be like an earth- 
quake's shock. 

* Thy kingdom come.' Let it come. At once rich 
men would be seen hurrying from their luxurious homes 
to restore profits wrongly and hardly taken, and poor 
men would busy themselves to put good work in the 
place of bad work. The conventional lie on the lady's 



THE WORK OF RIGHTEOUSNESS 211 

lip would become a bracing truth, and the political orator 
would stop his abuse to do justice to opponents. The 
idler would become busy, the frivolous serious, and the 
Church bountiful. For the pretence of work, the busi- 
ness about trifles, the everlasting money changing, the 
service of fashion, the gathering and squandering, the 
* aimless round in an eddy of purposeless dust ' — for these 
there would be work which would leave men wiser and the 
world cleaner. Instead of scandal there would be inter- 
change of thought, and instead of * bold print posters,' 
calm statement of fact. The drunkards would give up 
drink, the indolent their ease, and no one again ' would 
beat a horse or curse a woman/ Men would become 
honest and quiet, they would give up envying and strife. 
Time spent on foolish books and in foolish talk would be 
devoted to study, and all obeying the call of duty would 
serve the common good. Such a change in character 
would bring about a change in things, and could, indeed, 
turn the world upside down. If the rich were as gene- 
rous and just as Christ, if the poor were as honest and 
brave as Christ, there would not be much left which 
Socialism could add to the world's comfort. Personal 
righteousness must lead to peace and plenty, and with- 
out personal righteousness peace and plenty are impos- 
sible. It is, then, for us, with our high hopes, with our 
common longing for the time when none shall hurt or 
destroy, when none shall be sad or sorrowing — it is for 
us to be righteous. We all know a right we do not do ; 
whatever we do, whatever we give, whatever we are, 
there is more we ought to do, more we ought to give, and 
more we ought to be. 

To-night, then, seeing the doom discernible amid the 



212 PEACTICABLE SOCIALISM 

undoubted blessings of this Jubilee year; to-night, 
conscious that the progress (for which we thank God) 
has threatenings as well as promises, I preach, 'Be 
righteous.' No, it is not I who preach. It is Poverty, 
Ignorance, Sin. It is God Himself speaking through the 
pity and anger raised by the sight of these things. It 
is God Himself speaking through the reason raised by 
the thought of these things. It is God, the Almighty, the 
* I am,' ' Who is, and was, and will be,' who says to- 
night, * Be righteous.' If fifty righteous men, with 
Jesus as their Master, ' feeding on Him by faith,' would 
form a Holy Communion, the city might be spared for 
their sakes. 

Samuel A. Barnett. 



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Bowen's Harrow Songs and other Verses. Fcp. 8vo. 2s. 64. ; or printed on 

hand-made paper, 5*. 
Bowdler's Family Shakespeare. Medium 8vo. lis. 6 vols. fcp. 8vo. 21/. 
Dante's Divine Comedy, translated by James Innes Minchin. Crown 8vo. 15s, 
Goethe's Faust, translated by Birds. Large crown 8vo. 12*. 64. 

— — translated by Webb. 8vo, 12*. 64. 

— — edited by Selss. Crown 8vo.fi*. 

Ingelow's Poems. 2 Vols. fcp. 8vo. 12*. ; Vol. 8, fcp. 8vo. St. 

— - Lyrical and other Poems. Fcp. 8vo. 2s. 64. cloth, plain ; 8*. cloth, 
gilt edges. 
Kendall's (Mrs.) Dreams to SelL Fcp. 8vo. 6*. 

Macaulay's Lays of Ancient Borne. Illustrated by Scharf. ato. 10*. 6d. 
Popular Edition, fcp. 4to. 6<2. awd., 1*. cloth. 

— Lays of Ancient Borne, with Ivry and the Armada. Illustrated by 
Weguelin. Crown 8vo. 84. 64. gilt edges. 

Nesbit's Lays and Legends. Crown 8vo. 5*. 

Newman's The Dream of Gerontius. 16mo. 6<f. sewed ; 1*. cloth. 

— Verses on Various Occasions. Fcp. 8vo. 6*. 

Reader's Voices from Flowerland, a Birthday Book, 2s. 64. cloth, 3*. 64. roan. 
Southey's Poetical Works. Medium 8vo. 14*. 
Stevenson's A Child's Garden of Verses. Fcp. 8vo. 6*. 
Virgil's 2Sneid, translated by Conington. Crown 8vo. 9*. 

— Poems, translated into English Prose. Crown 8vo. 9*. 



AGRICULTURE, HORSES, DOGS, AND CATTLE 

Fitawygram's Horses and Stables. 8vo. 6 s. 
Lloyd's The Science of Agriculture. 8vo. 12/. 
Loudon's Encyclopaedia of Agriculture. 21/. 

Prothero'8 Pioneers and Progress of English Farming. Crown 8vo. 5*. 
Steel's Diseases of the Ox, a Manual of Bovine Pathology. 8vo. 16*. 
_ __ — Dog. 8vo. 10*. 64. 

LONGMANS, GREEN, & CO., London and New York. 



12 General Lists of Works. 

Btonehenge's Dog in Health and Disease. Square crown 8vo. 7*. 64. 

— Greyhound. Square crown 8vo. 15*. 
Taylor's Agricultural Note Boo*. Fcp. 8vo. is. 64. 
Vllle on Artificial Manures, by Orookes. 8vo. 21*. 
Youatt's Work on the Dog. 8vo. 6*. 

— — — — • Horse. 8vo. Is. 64. 

SPORTS AND PASTIMES. 

The Badminton Library of Sports and Pastimes. Edited by the Duke of Beaufort 
and A. B. T. Watson. With numerous Illustrations. Or. 8vo. 10j. 64. each. 
Hunting, by the Duke of Beaufort, <feo. 
Fishing, by H, Cholmondeley-Pennell, &o, 2 vols. 
Racing, by the Earl of Suffolk, &o. 
Shooting, by Lord Walsingham, bo. 2 vols. 
Cycling. By Viscount Bury. 

Athletics and Football. By Montague Shearman, &Q. . 
Boating. By W. B. Woodgate, &o. 
Cricket. By A. G. Steel, &c. 
Driving. By the Duke of Beaufort, &o. 
•»• Other Volumes in preparation. 

Campbell-Walker's Correct Card, or How to Play at Whist. Fcp. 8vo. is. 61. 
Ford's Theory and Practice of Archery, revised by W. Butt. 8vo. lis. 
Francis's Treatise on Fishing in all its Branches. Post 8vo. 15s. 
Longman's Chess OpeniDgs. Fcp. 8vo. 2*. 64. 

Pease's The Cleveland Hounds as a Trencher-Fed Pack. Royal 8vo. 18*. . 
Pole's Theory of the Modern Scientific Game of Whist. Fop. 8vo. 2*. 64. 
Proctor's How to Play Whist. Crown 8vo. 6s. « 

Bonalds's Fly-Fisher's Entomology. 8yo, las. 
Wilcocks's Sea 1 -Fisherman. Post8vo. 6*. 

ENCYCLOPEDIAS, DICTIONARIES, AND BOOKS OF 

REFERENCE. 

Acton's Modern Cookery for Private Families. Fop 8ro.4i.6d. 

Ayre's Treasury of Bible Knowledge. Fcp. 8vo. 6«. 

Cabinet Lawyer (The), a Popular Digest of the Laws of England. Fcp. 8vo. 9«. 

Gates's Dictionary of General Biography. Medium 8vo. 28*. 

Gwilt's Encyclopaedia of Architecture. 8vo. 62s. 64. 

Keith Johnston's Dictionary of Geography, or General Gazetteer. 8vo. 42*. 

M'Culloch's Dictionary of Commerce and Commercial Navigation. 8vo. 68s. 

Maunder'fl Biographical Treasury. Fcp. 8vo. 6s. 

— Historical Treasury. Fcp.' 8vo. 64. 

— Scientific and Literary Treasury. Fcp. 8vo. 6*. 

— Treasury of Bible Knowledge, edited by Ayre. Fcp. 8vo. 6#. 

— Treasury of Botany, edited by Lindley & Moore. Two Parts, 12*. 

— Treasury of Geography. Fcp. 8vo. 6s, 

— Treasury of Knowledge and Library of Reference. Fcp. 8vo. 6s. 

— Treasury of Natural History. Fcp. 8vo. 6s. 

Quain's Dictionary of Medicine. Medium 8vo. 31/. 64., or in 2 vols. 84s. 
Reeve's Cookery and Housekeeping. Crown 8vo. 5*. 
Rich's Dictionary of Roman and Greek Antiquities. Crown 8vo. Is. 64. 
Roget's Thesaurus of English Words and Phrases. Crown 8vo. 10*. 64. 
Willich's Popular Tables, by Marriott. Crown 8vo. 10*. 64. 

WORKS BY MRS. DE SALIS. 



Savouries a la Mode. Fcp. 8vo. 1*. 
Entrees a la Mode. Fcp. 8vo. Is. 64. 
Soups and Dressed Fit>h a la Mode. 
Fcp. 8vo. 1j. 64. 



Sweets and Supper Dishes, a la Mode. 

Fcp. 8vo. 1*. 64. 
Oysters a la Mode. Fcp. 8vo. 1*. 64. 
Yege I ables & la Mode. Fcp. 8vo. Is. 64. 



LONGMANS, GKEEN, & CO., London and New York. 



A SELECTION 

OF 

EDUCATIONAL WOEKS. 



TEXTBOOKS OF SCIENCE. 

FUIXT ILLUSTRATED. 

Abney's Treatise on Photography. Fop. 8vo, Sf. 64. 

Anderson's Strength of Materials; Ss.Gd, 

Armstrong's Organic Chemistry. 8«. 64. 

Ball's Blements of Astronomy. 6s. / 

Barry's Rail way Appliances. Sj. 64. • 

Banerman'a Systematlo Mineralogy. 8i« 

— DescriptiTe Mineralogy. 6* y 

Bloxam and Huntington's Metals. Si. 
Glazebrook's Physical Optics. St. 
Glasebrook and Shaw's Practical Physics. 6% 
Gore's Art of Electro-Metallurgy. 6«. 

Griffin's Algebra and Trigonometry. " 8«. 64. Notes and Solutions, 3i. 64* 
Holmes's The Steam Engine. 6a. 
Jenkin's Electricity and Magnetism. 8*. 64. 
Maxwell's Theory of Heat. 3«. 64. 

Merrifield's Technical Arithmetic and Mensuration. 8*. 64. Key, &. 64, 
Miller's Inorganic Chemistry. 9s. 64. 
Preece and Sivewright'g Telegraphy, ft. 
Bntley's Study of Bocks, a Text-Book of Petrology. 4*. 64. 
Shelley's Workshop Appliances, it, 64. 
Thome's Structural and Physiological Botany. 6*. 
Thorpe's Quantitative Chemical Analysis. is. 64, 
Thorpe and Muir*s Qualitative Analysis. Zt, 64. 

Tilden's Chemipal Philosophy. 3*. 64. With Answers to Problems, if. 64. 
Unwin's Elements of Machine Design. 6*. 
Watson's Plane and Solid Geometry. 3j. 64. 



THE GREEK LANGUAGE. 

Bloomfield's College and School Greek Testament. Fop. 8vo. St, 
Bolland & Lang's Politics of Aristotle. Post 8vo. Is. 64. 
Collis's Chief Tenses of the Greek Irregular Verbs. 8vo. Is. 

— Pontes Gnsci, Stepping-Stone to Greek Grammar. 12mo* 9s. 64. 

— Praxis Graeca, Etymology. 12mo. 2s. 64. 

— Greek Verse-Book, Praxis Iambica. 12mo. is. 64. 
Farrar's Brief Greek Syntax and Accidence. 12mo. is. 64. 

— Greek Grammar Rules for Harrow School. 12mo. 1«. 64. 
Geare's Notes on Thucydides. Book I. Fcp. 8vo. it, 64. 



LONGMANS, GREEN, & CO., London and New York. 



14 



A Selection of Educational Works. 



Hewitt's Greek Bxaminatlon-Papers. 12mo. It. Bd. 

Isbister's Xenophon's Anabasis, Books I. to III. with Notes. ISmo. Zs. Bd. 

Kennedy's Greek Grammar. 12mo. is. Bd. 

Liddell & Scott's English-Greek Lexicon. 4to. 86*. ; Square 12mo. Is. Bd, 

Mahaffy's Classical Greek Literature. Crown 8vo. Poets, Ts.Bd. Prose Writers, 

75. Bd. 
Morris's Greek Lessons. Square 18mo. Part I. 2s. Bd. ; Part LT. 1*. ' 
Parry's Elementary Greek Grammar. 12mo. Us. Bd. 

Plato's Ropublio, Book I. Greek Text, English Notes by Hardy. Grown 8vo. Zs. 
Sheppard and Evans's Notes on Thucydides. .Crown 8vo. 7s. Bd. 
Thucydides, Book IV. with Notes by Barton and Ch&vasse. Crown 8vo. 6s. 
Valpy's Greek Delectus, improved by White. 12mo. 2s. Bd. Key, 2*. 64. 
White's Xenophon's Expedition of Cyrus, with English Notes. 12mo. 7s. Bd. 
Wilkins's Manual of Greek Prose Composition. Crown 8vo. 5*. Key, 6m. 

— Exercises in Greek Prose Composition. Crown 8vo.4s.6d. Key,2#.6d. 

— New Greek Delectus. Crown 8vo. Zs. Bd.< Key,2s.Bd. 

— Progressive Greek Delectus. 12mo. is. Key, 2s. Bd. 

— Progressive Greek Anthology. 12mo. 5s. 

— Scriptores Attici, Excerpts with English Notes. Crown 8vo. It. Bd. 

— Speeches from Thucydides translated. Post 8vo. 6*. 
Yonge's English-Greek Lexicon. 4to. 21*. ; Square 12mo. Zs. Bd. 



THE LATIN LANGUAGE 

Bradley's Latin Prose Exercises. 12mo. Zs. Gji. Key, 5*. 

— Continuous Lessons in Latin Prose. 12mo. 6s. Key, 6s. Bd. 

— Cornelius Nepos, improved by White. 12mo. 8*. Bd. 

— Eutropius, improved by White. 12mo. 2s. Bd. 

— Ovid's Metamorphoses, improved by White. 12mo. is. Bd. 

— Select Fables of Phaedrus, improved by White. 12mo. 2s. Bd. 
Collis's Chief Tenses of Latin Irregular Verbs. 8vo. Is. 

— Pontes Latini, Stepping-Stone to Latin Grammar. 12mo. Zs. Bd. 
Hewitt's Latin Examination-Papers. 12mo. 1*. Bd. 
Isbister's Caesar, Books I.- VII. 12mo. 4*. ; or with Beading Lessons, is. Bd. 

— Caesar's Commentaries, Books I.-V. 12mo. Zs. Bd. 

— First Book of Caasar's Gallic War. 12mo. U. Bd. 
Jerram's Latine Beddenda. Crown 8vo. 1#. Bd. 

1 Kennedy's Child's Latin Primer, or First Latin Lessons. 12mo. 2s. 

— Child's Latin Accidence. 12mo. U. 

— Elementary Latin Grammar. 12mo. Zs. Bd. 

— Elementary Latin Beading Book, or Tirocinium Lattntmi. Umo. 9s. 

— Latin Prose, Palaestra Still Latini. 12mo. 6*. 

— Latin Vocabulary. 12mo. 25. Bd. 

— Subsidia Primaria, Exercise Books to the Public School Latin Primer. 
I. Accidence and Simple Construction, 2s. Bd. II. Syntax, 8*. 64. 

— Key to the Exercises in Subsidia Primaria, Parts L and^II. price 6s. 

— Subsidia Primaria, III. the Latin Compound Sentence. ISmo. Is. 



LONGMANS, GREEN, & CO., London and New York, 



A Selection of Educational Works. 



15 



Kennedy's Curriculum Still Latini. 12mo. is. Bd. Key, Is, Bd. 

— Palaestra Latina, or Second Latin Beading Book. 12mo. 6s. 
Moody's Eton Latin Grammar. 12mo. 2s. Bd, The Accidence separately, 1*. 
Morris's Elements Latina. Fcp. 8vo. U. Bd. Key, 2s. Bd. 
Parry's Origines Romanse, from Livy, with Englisn Notes. Crown 8vo. As. 
The Public School Latin Primer. 12mo. 2s. Bd. 

— — — — Grammar, by Rev. Dr. Kennedy. Post 8vo. Is, Bd, 
Prendergast's Mastery Series, Manual of Latin. 18mo. 2s. Bd. 
Rapier's Introduction to Composition of Latin Verse. 12mo. 3*. Bd. Key, 2s. Bd. 
Sheppard and Turner's Aids to Classical Study. 12mo. 6s, Key, 6s. 
Valpy's Latin Delectus, improred by White. 12mo. 2s. Bd. Key, Zs. Bd. 
Virgil's JEneid, translated into English Verse by Conington. Qrown 8vo. 9j. 

— Works, edited by Kennedy. Crown 8vo. 10/. Bd. 

— — translated into English Prose by Conington. Crown 8vo. 9s. 
Watford's Progressive Exercises in Latin Elegiao Verse.* 12mo. 2s. 6d, Key, 6s. 
White and Riddle's Large Latin-English Dictionary. 1 vol 4to. 21*. 
White's Concise Latln-Eng. Dictionary for University Students. Royal 8yo. 1 2*. 

— Junior Students' Eng.-Lat. & Lat.-Eng. Dictionary. Square 12mo. 6s, 

K.^^,.,,, f The Latin-English Dictionary, price 8*. 
oeparateiy | Tfle BngUgh.Lattn Dictionary, price Zs. 

Yonge's Latin Gradus. Post 8vo. 9*. ; or with Appendix, 124. 

WHITE'S GRAMMAR-SCHOOL GREEK TEXTS. 



JEsop (Fables) & Palcephatus (Myths). 

32mo. . 1*. 
Euripides, Hecuba. 2s. 
Homer, Iliad, Book I. Is. 

— Odyssey, Book I. 1*. 
Lncian, Select Dialogues. Is. 
Xenophon, .Anabasis, Books I. III. IV. 

V. & VI. Is. Bd. each ; Book II. Is. ; 

Book VII. 2s, 



Xenophon, Book I. without Vocabu- 
lary. Bd. 

St. Matthew's and St. Luke's Gospels. 
2s. Bd. each. 

St. Mark's and St. John's Gospels. 
Is. Bd. each. 

The Acts of the Apostles. 2s. Bd. 

St. Paul's Epistle to the Romans. ls.Bd. 



The Four Gospels in Greek, with Greek-English Lexicon. Edited by John T. 

White, D.D. Oxon. Square 82mo. price 6s. 



WHITE'S GRAMMAR-SCHOOL LATIN TEXTS. 



Csesar, Gallic War, Books I. & II. V. 

<fe VI. Is. each. Book I. without 

Vocabulary, Bd. 
Csesar, Gallic War, Books III. & IV. 

Csesar, Gallic War, Book VII. U. Bd, 
Cicero, Cato Major (Old Age). Is. Bd. 
Cicero, Laelius (Friendship). Is. Bd, 
Eutropius, Roman History, Books I. 

& II. 1*. Books III. & IV. Is. 
Horace,Odes, Books I. II. & IV. 1*. each. 
Horace, Odes, Book III. Is. Bd, 
Horace, Epodcs and Carmen Seculare. 

U. 



Nepos, Miltiades, Simon, Pausanias, 

Aristides. 9d'. 
Ovid. Selections from Epistles and 

Fasti. Is, 
Ovid, Select Myths from Metamor- 
. phoses. 9d. 

Phsedrus, Select Easy Fables, 
Fhsedrus, Fables, Books I. &i H, Is, 
Sallust, Bellum Catilinarium. 1*. Bd, 
Virgil, Georgics, Book IV. 1*. 
Virgil, JSneid, Books I. to VI. Is. each. 

Book I. without. Vocabulary, 3d. 
Virgil, .ffineid, Books VII. to XII. 

1*. Bd. each. 



LONGMANS, GREEN, & CO., London and New York. 



16 



A Selection of Educational Works. 



THE FRENCH LANGUAGE. 

Albites*8 How to Speak French. Fop. 8vo. 6s. 6d. 

— Instantaneous French Exercise*. Fcp. 2s. Key, 2s. 
Oassal's French Genders. Csown 8vo. 3*. 6<f. 
Oassal & Karcher*8 Graduated French Translation Book. Fart L Zs. Bd. 

Fart IL 5j. Key to Fart L by Professor Cassal, price 6s. 
Contanseau's Practical French and English Dictionary. Post 8yo. Zs. Bd. 

— Pocket French and English Dictionary. Square 18mo. 1*. 64. 

— Premieres Lectures. 12mo. 2«. 6<Z. 

— First Step in French. 12mo. 2s. Bd. Key, Zs. 

— French Accidence. 12mo. 2s. Bd. 

— •*- Grammar. 12mo. As. Key, 8#. 
Contanseau's Middle-Glass French Course. Fcp. 8vo. : — 



Accidence, Sd. 
Syntax, Sd. 

French Conversation-Book, Sd. 
First French Exercise-Book, Sd. 
Second French Exercise-Book, Sd. 
Contanseau's Guide to French Translation. 
— Prosateurs et Poetes Francois. 



French Translation-Book, 84. 
Easy French Delectus, Sd. 
First French Beader, Sd. 
Second French Reader, Sd. 
French and English Dialogues, Sd. 
12mo. Zs. Bd. Key Zs. Bd. 
12mo. 6s. 



— Precis de la Litterature Francalse. 12mo. 35. Bd. 

— Abrege de l'Histoire de France. 12mo. 2s. Bd. 

Feval's Chouans et Blens, with Notes by C. Sankey, MA. Fcp. 8vo. 2s. Bd. 

Jerram's Sentences for Translation into French. Cr. 8vo. Is. Key, 2s. Bd. 

Frendergast's Mastery Series, French. 12mo. 2s. Bd. 

Souvestre's Philosophe sous les Toits, by Stievenard. Square 18mo. Is. Bd. 

Stepping-Stone to French Pronunciation. 18mo. Is. 

Stievenard'e Lectures Francaises from Modern Authors. 12mo. As. Bd . 

— Bules and Exercises on the French Language. 12mo. Zs. Bd. 

Tarver's Eton French Grammar. 12mo. Bs. Bd. 

THE GERMAN LANGUAGE. 

E'ackley's Practical German and English Dictionary. Post 8vo. 8*. 64. 
Euchheim's German Poetry, for Repetition. 18mo. 1#. Gd. 
Collis'8 Card of German Irregular Verbs. 8vo. 2s. . 

Fischer-Fischart's Elementary German Grammar. Fcp. 8vo. is. Bd. 
Just's German Grammar. 12mo. Is. Bd. 

— German Beading Book. 12mo. 2s. Bd. 
Longman's Pocket German and English Dictionary. Square 18mo. 2s. Bd. 
Natters Elementary German Course for Public School*. Fcp. 8vo. 



German Prose Composition Book. 
First German Header. 9d. 
Second German Beader. 9d. 



German Accidence. dd. 

German 8yntax. 9d. 

First German Exercise-Book. 9d. 

Second German Exercise-Book. 9d. 
Frendergast's Mastery Series, German. 12mo. 2s. Bd, 
Quick's Essentials of German. Crown 8vo. 3*. Bd. 
Selss's School Edition of Goethe's Faust. Crown 8vo. 5s. 
— Outline of German Literature. Crown 8vo. As. Gd. 
Wirtb/s German Chit-Chat. Crown 8vo. 2s. Bd. 

LONGMANS, GREEN, & CO., London and New York. 



9& 



Spottiswoode dc Co. Printers, New-street Square, London, 



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